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^ l—JW * 




Know thyself. 






Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1839, by 

Sylvester Graham, 
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts. 



The simpler, plainer and more truly natural the food of man, the better ' 
is it adapted to all his physiological and psychological interests — 
This proposition illustrated by the general history of the human 
family, from the earliest times to the present. 1 — 41 


The evidence of comparative anatomy in relation to the natural die- 
tetic character of man — The versatility of the physiological powers 
of the digestive organs of man and other animals — Relation of rea- 
son to instinct — Why the average longevity of man is nearly the 
same in all climates, situations, &c. — The true elements of phy- 
siological reasoning in relation to the natural dietetic character of 
man. 42 — 116 


Physiological evidence in relation to the natural dietetic character of 
man, derived from the comparative effects of vegetable and animal 
food in the development, size, symmetry and'"beauty of the human 
body. 117—169 


Comparative effects of vegetable and animal food on the human body 
with reference to suppleness, agility, vigor, ability to endure pro- 
tracted effort, &c. — Physiological principles explained and illustrated 
by facts. 169—223 


Comparative effects of vegetable and animal food in enabling the human 
system to resist the action of morbific and pestilential causes and to 
recover from disease, &c. — and with reference to longevity, pro- 
lificness, and the ability to endure cold. 224 — 279 



Comparative effects of vegetable and animal food on the sensorial 
power of the nervous system — particularly on the special senses and 
intellectual and moral faculties; — and with reference to insanity. 



Comparative effects of vegetable and animal food on the animal pro- 
pensities and moral sentiments and actions; and on the cerebral 
development — General conclusion from the anatomical and physiolo- 
gical evidence in relation to the natural dietetic character of man. 



Animal food — flesh, fowl, fish, butter, cheese, milk, eggs, if used at 
all, the best kinds and qualities, and how best prepared, &c. 



The rich and bountiful supply of the vegetable kingdom for the sustenance 
of man — The great physiological principles in relation to the prepara- 
tion of vegetable food — Bread and other articles, how best prepared. 



The proper times of eating, and frequency of meals — The physiologi- 
cal principles explained and illustrated. 480 — 523 


The quantity of food necessary to sustain the human body. — The natu- 
ral drink of man — The pure stimulants, salt, pepper, mustard, &c, 
tea, coffee, alcoholic liquors, tobacco, opium, &c — their effects on 
the system. 523 — 610 


Sleep, its physiological philosophy — proper time and quantity— Beds, 
the proper kind — Bedclothes, the proper kind and quantity Bed- 
rooms, Bathing, Air, Clothing, Exercise, Voluntary Evacuation. 




The simpler, plainer and more truly natural the food of man, the 
better it is adapted to all his physiological and psychological inter- 
ests — Original dietetic habits of man — Original adaptation of man 
to the state and circumstances in which he was placed — The great 
physiological laws the same in man and lower animals — Instinct 
as determinate in man as in the lower animals — as much a constitu- 
tional law of action — The importance of the human hand as an 
instrument of voluntary power — Man exalted by his intellectualand 
moral powers — Man has no power to abolish the laws of nature, 
even in himself, but must obey them or suffer — The truly natural 
state of man — Man's physiological and physchological interests can- 
not be separated in the present state of being — The natural food of 
man — Uncertainty of testimony in regard to facts — The present con- 
dition of the human family, a fair specimen of what it has been for 
several thousand years — Uuiversal use of intoxicating substances — 
Tobacco, alcohol, opium, tea, coffee, &c. extensively used — The 
facts of human history, mixed results and easily misapprehended and 
misapplied — Testimony of ancient writers concerning the dietetic 
habits of the primitive generations of the human species — Dietetie 
habits of the American Indians — Primitive preparations of food — 
Present capabilities of the human constitution — Modern testimony — 
Captain Cook — Mr. Bryant — Pampa Indians of South America — 
Arabs of the desert — Natives of different islands — Russians — Dif- 
ferent religious sects and schools of philosophy — Bramins of India — 
Pythagoreans — Essenes of the Jews — Friends or Quakers — Whites 
and blacks of Massachusetts and North Carolina. 
VOL. II. 2 

14 graham's lectures on the 

§ 768. From the laws of constitution and relation 
which have been explained in the preceding lecture, we 
perceive that, as a general statement, the simpler, plain- 
er, and more natural the food of man is, the more per- 
fectly those laws are fulfilled, and the more healthy, 
vigorous, and long-lived will be the body, — the more 
perfect will be all the senses, and the more active and 
powerful may the intellectual and moral faculties be ren- 
dered by suitable cultivation. (§735. 775.) 

§7G9. It is unquestionably true that for a considera- 
ble time — probably centuries, after man was created, 
he received his food from the bosom of nature, with 
very little or no artificial preparation. Flouring-mills 
and bolting-cloths, and the innumerable culinary and 
other utensils since employed in preparing aliment for 
the human mouth and stomach, were then wholly un- 

§ 770. Now then, one of two things is entirely cer- 
tain; — either God created man with a perfect constitu- 
tional adaptation to the state in which he first placed 
him, and with a constitutional capability of adapting him- 
self, to a certain extent, to that artificial state in which 
man has since placed himself; — or else, God created man 
with a perfect constitutional adaptation to the state and 
circumstances of civic life, and placed him at first, in a 
state to which he had a constitutional capability of being 
adapted, but which was not best adapted to his constitu- 
tion. — No- enlightened and honest mind, I suppose, can 
hesitate a moment to decide that the first of these posi- 
tions is the true one: — that God created man upright 
but capable of seeking out many inventions: — that He 
placed him at first, in a state for which he had the most per- 
fect constitutional adaptation, and which was most perfect- 
ly adapted to his constitution; — and hence, it should ever 


be remembered that man was constituted for the natural 
state, (§ 25. Note) and not for the artificial state of civic 
life: and all that can be truly affirmed more than this, is 
that, man possesses a constitutional capability of educat- 
ing and habituating himself to artificial modes of life: — 
but in so doing, he necessarily impairs the physiologi- 
cal powers of his constitution, and, as a general fact, 
abridges the period of his existence. (§ 735.) I wish 
however, to be perfectly understood, when speaking of 
the natural and of the artificial state of man. By the 
natural state of man, I do not by any means, intend the 
savage state: — for I do not believe that the savage state 
is natural to man. (§ 774.) 

§ 771. As an animal, man is constituted with the same 
physiological powers, and upon the same great physio- 
logical principles as those which pertain to the constitu- 
tional nature of the horse, the ox and other animals; and 
it is well known that these animals cannot be greatly di- 
verted from their natural laws of constitution and rela- 
tion, without a deterioration of their natures: and this is 
equally true of the animal nature of man. We have 
seen (§694. et seq.) that, God has constituted the 
organized body of man, with fixed and precise rela- 
tions to those substances which He designed for its 
nourishment; — that He has formed the human body with 
organic capacities and physiological powers, (§ 697.) to 
receive and convert those foreign substances to its own 
nature, and that, in connexion with these organic capaci- 
ties and physiological powers, and with fixed and pre- 
cise relations to the kind, quality and condition of those 
foreign substances designed for human aliment, He has 
established certain special senses (§ 700.) as the facul- 
ties of instinct, by which the animal, in a natural and 
undepraved state, with unerring accuracy, selects his 

16 graham's lectures on the 

salutary nourishment, and avoids whatever is perni- 

§772. These faculties of instinct then, are as deter- 
minate in their functional characters and in their final 
causes, in man, as they are in the lower animals: (§ 707.) 
and God no more designed that man should find enjoyment 
in the exercises of these instinctive faculties, beyond the 
legitimate fulfilment of their final causes, than He did, 
that,- the horse and ox and other animals should. And 
I affirm this, on the authority of the incontrovertible 
fact, that man is constituted with no more capability to 
do it, without injury to himself than the lower animals 
are, (§735.) In all that concerns the interests of or- 
ganic life and mere animal existence, therefore, man is 
subject to the same general laws as those which govern 
the lower animals: and in one respect only, has God 
made man, as an animal, superior by his organization to 
other animals, — and that involves no physiological law, 
and constitutes no physiological distinction between man 
and other animals. Nor indeed, does it elevate man 
above other animals, except in its adaptation to his high- 
er faculties, as a voluntary power, — as an organic instru- 
ment, by which man is enabled to execute the designs 
of his mind. The monkey has a hand and arm like man; 
but without the reason of man, his hand serves in no de- 
gree to elevate him above many other animals. But the 
human hand, as the instrument of human reason, has ele- 
vated man to the heavens, and plunged him into the 
deepest hell.— It is indeed, to him, more than the fabled 
wand of the magician, and is only second to the omnific 
power of God. 

§ 773. In the possession of his immeasurably superior 
intellectual and his peculiar moral powers, then, (§ 612.) 
is man exalted far above all other terrestrial beings, and 


made the natural lord of the earth and sea; and holds 
a natural dominion over all the animal as well as vegeta- 
ble and mineral kingdoms. — Still, man, in common with 
all created things, is a subject of the great natural king- 
dom of God, which of necessity, is governed by the 
supreme constitutional laws that God, in infinite wisdom 
and benevolence, has established in the nature of things: 
(§613.) and therefore, man has no natural dominion 
over the things of this world, nor is it possible for him 
to acquire a dominion, which will enable him to abolish 
the constitutional laws of things under his dominion, nor 
the constitutional laws of his own nature; nor with im- 
punity to violate any of the constitutional laws of God's 
great natural kingdom, whether established in his_ own 
nature, or the nature of any other created thing. — (§ 144.) 
tMrtw's superiority therefore, consisteth noiin his own abso- 
lute and arbitrary power: — but in the superior constitution- 
al nature and intrinsic capabilities which God has given 
him. By a conformity to the laws of that constitutional 
nature, he rises in the development of his capabilities to 
an affiliation with angels, and to a holy and happy com- 
munion with God: — but by the transgression of those 
laws he inevitably sinks to the perdition of necessary 

§ 774. It is therefore a very obvious and an incontro- 
vertible truth, that the truly natural state of man, or 
that state to which God has adapted the constitutional 
nature of man, is that, in which his organic and animal 
powers, and all that primarily appertains to his organic 
and animal nature, are kept in strict conformity to the 
physiological laws of that nature, and in which his 
intellectual and moral powers are cultivated to godlike 
wisdom and virtue. For, the constitutional laws of 
man's intellectual and moral nature, which are establish- 

IS graham's lectures on the 

ed with fixed and precise relations to his animal and 
organic nature on the one hand, and to the moral charac- 
ter of God and the moral interest and duties of society 
on the other, (§613.) as much require such a cultivation 
of his intellectual and moral powers, as the highest wel- 
fare of his organic and animal nature requires the strict 
obedience of its physiological laws. And we have seen 
(§613.) that, the physiological laws and the moral laws 
of man's constitutional nature, perfectly harmonize, so 
that, the true interests of his intellectual and moral na- 
ture cannot be adverse to, nor, in the present state of 
being, separated from the true interests of his organic 
and animal nature. — Moreover, it is not only true that, 
the highest degree of intellectual and moral cultivation 
and refinement are compatible with the simplest and most 
natural dietetic regimen, but it is incontrovertibly true 
that such a regimen is most favorable to the highest and 
holiest development of man's intellectual and moral 

§775. But when I say (§768.) that, the simpler, 
plainer and more natural the food of man is, the more 
perfectly his laws of constitution and relation are fulfilled, 
and the more healthy, vigorous and long-lived will be 
his body — the more perfect his senses, and the more 
active and powerful may his intellectual and moral fac- 
ulties be rendered by suitable cultivation, I do not mean 
that man is constituted to eat grass like the horse and 
ox, nor that he should confine himself to a single article 
of food during his life. By simple food I mean that 
which is not compounded and complicated by culinary 
process; — by plain food I mean that which is not dressed 
with pungent stimulants, seasonings or condiments - and 
by natural food I mean that which the Creator has design- 
ed for man, and in such conditions as are best adapted to 


the anatomical structure and physiological powers of the 
human system. — Among all the vegetable and animal 
substances in nature, which afford nourishment for liv- 
ing animal bodies, there are some better adapted to the 
constitutional nature of man than others: and some, 
which above all others, are adapted to sustain human 
nature in its highest and best condition. These latter 
substances, whatever they may be, are the most natural 
food of man, and the more entirely man subsists on them, 
the more perfectly he fulfils the laws of his nature, and 
secures his highest interests. 

§ 776. In turning to the general history of the human 
race, for a confirmation of these physiological principles, 
so many difficulties meet us almost at the first step, that 
we (eel exceedingly perplexed and discouraged: and 
nothing but the true light of physiological science, and 
the most cautious and scrutinizing investigation of every 
thing that comes in our way, can save us from being 
continually misled by the false way-marks, which have, 
on every hand, been set up by those who have preceded 

§ 777. The present condition of the human family, 
taken as a whole, is a tolerably fair specimen of what it 
has been, on an average, for several thousand years. 
And if we contemplate the present condition of man- 
kind, over the face of the whole earth, the first view 
seems to present nothing which goes to confirm the 
physiological principles that I have advanced. We find 
some portions of the race in the torrid zone, some in the 
temperate and some in the frigid. (§ 15.) Some, we 
find subsisting wholly on vegetable food, others on a 
mixture of vegetable and animal, and others entirely on 
animal, or nearly so; and those tribes and portions of the 
human family, who appear to come nearest to a pure 

20 graham's lectures on the 

state of nature, in the kind and condition of their food y 
present no advantages over others of more artificial 
habits of living. (§657.) But if we examine this mat- 
ter with a more careful and penetrating eye, we shall soon 
discover that all facts of this kind are completely nullified 
by circumstances which wholly destroy the integrity of 
the experiment. 

§ 77S. It is a melancholy truth, that, at least nine 
hundred and ninety-nine, in every thousand members of 
the human family, at present existing on the surface of 
our globe, in the most savage as well as the most civilized 
life, daily and constantly disturb the physiological func- 
tions and impair the physiological powers of their bodies, 
by the use of those alcoholic, narcotic and other sub- 
stances which are taken purely for their stimulating effect, 
and which completely destroy, for any nice physiological 
purposes, all general facts in relation to the dietetic 
habits of man. — That foul and loathsome weed tobacco, 
has found its way to every part of every continent and 
island, and over the whole face of the waters of our 
globe. It is freely used in all grades of society, from 
the most elegant and refined portions of civic life, to the 
lowest state of savage existence in Europe, Asia, Africa, 
and America. — Alcohol in some of the numerous forms 
of fermented or distilled liquors, is scarcely less univer- 
sally used; — and opium is consumed in nearly an equal 
quantity. — Tea, coffee, and numerous other articles of 
the same great family of deleterious stimulants, are, over 
a considerable portion of the globe, almost as common 
as the atmospheric air, and are considered almost as 
necessary to the stomach as air is to the lungs. — Besides 
these evils which abound in savage life, fihhiness, licen- 
tiousness, the uncurbed exercise of all the bad passions 
great irregularities, a want of intellectual and moral 


cultivation, and a thousand other things militate continu- 
ally against the physiological welfare of those, whose 
dietetic habits may, in many respects, be simple and 
natural; and totally prevent the advantages which would 
otherwise flow from such a diet. — No amount of facts of 
this kind, therefore, ought ever to be considered as of 
any real weight against well ascertained physiological 
principles; — for nothing can be more certain than that, 
every real fact in the experience of the human race, when 
truly understood, decidedly confirms the truth of physio- 
logical science. 

§ 779. All the writers of antiquity, of every nation, — 
historians, physicians, philosophers and poets, assert 
that the first generations of men, who lived nearly a 
thousand years, (§641.) were perfectly natural and 
simple in their diet. 

a. According to the Mosaic record, God said to the 
first parents of the human species, u Behold, I have given 
you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of 
the earth; and every tree in which is the fruit of the tree, 
yielding seed; to you it shall be for food." And again, 
after the transgression, God says to Adam, " Thou 
shalt eat the herb of the field; — in the sweat of thy brow 
shalt thou eat thy food till thou return unto the ground." 

b.- Sanchoniathon, a Phoenician historian, who flourish- 
ed about four hundred years after Moses, says that " the 
first men lived upon the plants shooting out of the 

c. Hesiod, the Greek poet, who is supposed to have 
flourished two or three hundred years later, speaking of 
the food of the first of those tribes and nations of which 
he had a historical and traditionary knowledge, says that 
" the uncultivated fields afforded them their fruits and 
Rimnlifid thpir hniint.iful and unftnviftd repast." 

22 graham's lectures on the 

d. Pythagoras, the philosopher, who flourished about 
five hundred years before Christ, and who travelled 
extensively, and made himself acquainted with all the 
learning of his day; and in all his researches, made the 
history and philosophy of man the principal objects of 
his inquiries and studies, gives the same account of the 
dietetic habits of the primitive generations: and he 
taught his more favored disciples that they ought to live 
in the same natural and simple manner. 

e. Herodotus, the celebrated historian, who wrote about 
four hundred and forty-five or fifty years before Christ, 
relates that, "upon the death of Lycurgus, the Lacede- 
monians, meditating the conquest of Arcadia, were told 
by the oracle that there were many brave acorn-eaters in 
that country, who would repel them if they attempted to 
carry their arms thither: — as it afterwards happened." 

/. Hippocrates, called the father of physic, who flour- 
ished about four hundred years before Christ, and who 
was a physician of great talents and extensive observation 
and research, says that " in the beginning man subsisted 
on the spontaneous products of the earth, and received 
his food in the same simple and natural condition as the 
lower animals did." 

g. Diodorus Siculus, who flourished about forty or fifty 
years before Christ, and who wrote the history of Egypt, 
Persia, Syria, Media, Greece, Rome and Carthage, says 
that " the first of men ranged over the fields and woods 
in search of food, like the lower animals, — eating every 
mild herb they could find, and such fruits as the trees 
spontaneously produced." 

h. Ovid, the celebrated Roman poet, who flourished 
in the commencement of the Christian era, and who 
undoubtedly speaks from the historical and traditionary 
authority of his day, says, in the first Book of his 


Metamorphosis, in relation to the diet of the first gen- 
erations of men, as rendered by Dryden — 

" Content with food which nature freelybred, 
On wildings and on strawberries they fed; 
Cornels and bramble-berries gave the rest, 
And falling acorns furnished out the feast." 

i. iElianus, who in the first century of the Christian 
era, published his treatises on animals, history, &c, 
says that "the diet of the primitive inhabitants of the earth 
differed according to the different products of their re- 
spective countries." — Of the first inhabitants of Greece 
he says, " The Arcadians lived on acorns, the Argives 
on pears, the Athenians on figs," &c. 

j. Pliny, the Roman naturalist, of about the same 
period, says that "mankind in the first ages subsisted on 

k. Plutarch, who died about the middle of the second 
century of the Christian era, relates that "the first 
Argives, led on by Inachus " the founder of the kingdom 
of Argos, 1S00 years before Christ, " searched the woods 
for wild pears to support them." The same writer, in 
his life of Artaxerxes Longimanus, king of Persia, who 
reigned in the fifth century before Christ, says that, 
" this unwary prince led a great army against the Cadu- 
sians, a robust and warlike people, whose inhospitable 
country produced neither corn nor good fruits, so that, 
the natives were forced to live on pears and apples which 
grew wild and spontaneous." 

I. Galen, the celebrated Roman physician, "who flour- 
ished in the second century of the Christian era, seems 
to admit the truth of all these accounts, for he assures 
us in his work on human aliment, that, " acorns afford 
as good nourishment as many sorts of grain: — that, in 
ancient times men lived on acorns only; and that, the 

24 graham's lectures on the 

Arcadians continued to eat them long after the rest ot 
Greece had begun to make use of bread-corn.' 

m. Porphyry, a platonic philosopher of the third cen- 
tury — a man of great talents and learning, and of very 
extensive research and observation, who investigated the 
subject of human diet with great rare and diligence, says 
that, " the ancient Greeks lived entirely on the fruits of 
the earth." 

n. It is well known also, that the Romans, not only in 
the earliest period of their history, but at the time of their 
greatest vigor and efficiency, when their small 'and invin- 
cible armies were always victorious, and when the success 
of battle depended less on the art of war than on the 
physical power and personal prowess of the individual 
leaders and soldiers, were exceedingly simple and natural 
in their diet; — and it was not till the artificial refinements 
and the excesses of luxury, had relaxed their sturdy 
frames and rendered them effeminate, sensual and selfish, 
that they were unable to withstand even the smaller num- 
bers, of those rugged barbarians whom they affected to 
despise. (§ 648.) 

o. When Bonduca, queen of the ancient Britons, was 
about to engage the Romans in pitched battle, in the 
days of Roman degeneracy, she encouraged her army 
with a pathetic speech in reference to the wrongs and 
outrages which they had suffered from their foreign 
oppressors, and urged in particular, the following con- 
siderations: " The great advantage we have over them 
is that they cannot like us, bear hunger, thirst, heat nor 
cold. They must have fine bread, wine and warm 
houses. — Every herb and root satisfies our hunger, water 
supplies the want of wine; and every tree is to us a 
warm house." — u In those times," says the noble histo- 
rian, on whose authority I state this, "our fathers were 


robust both in mind and body, and could bear without 
much pain, what would totally overwhelm us."* 

■p. Even the aborigines of our own country, with all 
their fondness for the chase, before their intercourse 
with the Europeans, subsisted to a considerable extent, 
on the simple products of the earth. The Plymouth 
colonists found the North American Indians, inhabiting 
those parts, under Massasoit, the father of that American 
Wallace, King Phillip, subsisting on the plainest and 
simplest forms of food; and possessing noble and hardy 
frames and frank and friendly dispositions; — remarkable 
for bodily symmetry and vigor and activity, and ability 
to endure severe and protracted labor and exposure. 
Ground-nuts and acorns and bread made of parched 
maize or Indian corn, were the principal articles which 
Massasoit, in generous and unsuspecting hospitality, 
served up for the repast of his first white guests. — A 
writer of those early days of our antiquities, informs us 
that, "the Indians made a bread from the meal which 
they made of parched maize:" — and that, "it was so 
sweet, so hearty and so toothsome, that, an Indian would 
travel many days with no other food." — And indeed, it 
was no uncommon thing for an Indian, starting on such a 
journey, to take three or four ears of corn with him as 
his only food which he would either eat raw, or stop by 
the way and make a fire and parch it as he needed it. 

q. For a considerable time, during the severe war 
which he maintained in his last struggles for his beloved 
country, that noble and heroic patriot, and martyr to the 
cause of liberty, King Philip, with his few and faithful 
followers, " subsisted on ground-nuts and acorns and 
lily-roots." — And when Colonel Church captured Anna- 
wan, a chief officer under Philip, he found his wife 
* Kaiiiis' Sketches on Man. 

VOL. II. 3 

26 graiiam's lectures on the 

engaged in pounding parched corn for supper. And, 
taking advantage of this rude, but still lovely sound of 
domestic charity, he stole like the primal serpent, into 
the sanctuary of peace, to betray and to desolate! — 
Virtuous simplicity of a noble race ! — Who can covet 
the moral sensibilities of that man who has no sympathies 
for scenes like these! — Most injured race! — Full many 
a generous heart hath ached at the contemplation of your 
untold wrongs! — Treacherously robbed of your country, 
and then cruelly exterminated as savages, because you 
were guilty of loving the spot of your birth, and the land 
of your fathers' sepulchres! 

No more upon yon silver tide 

That winds these mountain spires between — 
No more along the upland side, 

The native huntsmen now are seen: 
Their bodies have manured the soil, 

For other lords and other heirs; 
Their homes became the bloody spoil 

Of hearts less merciful than theirs. 

§ 780. But, in contemplating the history of the human 
race, we must not lose sight of the fact, that no ancient 
historian except Moses, gives us any direct and distinct 
information, concerning the antediluvian inhabitants of 
the earth: — and another interesting fact, is that, no other 
early writer gives us an account of the diet of the 
primitive generations of the human race, which is so 
rational, and so truly adapted to the constitutional nature 
of man. For, according to Moses, " the Lord God 
planted a garden, and caused every tree that is pleasant 
to the sight and good for food, to grow out of the ground; 
and he took the man whom he had formed, and put him 
into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it," and to 
subsist on its fruits. Such then, s the truly natural state 
of man; and such is the food which is adapted to the 


highest and best condition of human nature. — And when 
man, by his disobedience, had caused his own expulsion 
from this delightful garden, and was doomed to eat his 
food in the sweat of his brow, instead of roaming through 
the fields and woods like beasts in search of food, we 
find him soon practising both husbandry and pasturage. 
For Cain, the oldest son of Adam, was a tiller of the 
ground, and Abel, the second, was a keeper of sheep. 

§781. Fruits, nuts, farinaceous seeds and roots, with 
perhaps some milk and it may be honey, in all rational 
probability, constituted the food of the first family and 
the first generations of mankind. 

§ 782. These articles were, at first, unquestionably 
received in their natural and simple state, without any ar- 
tificial preparations at all, except the rude breaking of 
the hard shells of nuts, with the common stones on the 
face of the earth. But as society advanced, and the 
change of seasons taught men by experience, the neces 
sity of a degree of providence, and as their provisions of 
seeds and other articles of food became dry and hard by 
keeping, they very naturally had recourse, at first, to the 
simple expedient of mashing or breaking those substances 
on flat stones, preparatory for mastication. — And soon it 
became a general custom among them, for every family 
to keep one or more of these stones, as a necessary part 
of their domestic apparatus. — By constant use, these 
stones, in a process of time, became concave and deeply 
hollowed, which rendered them much more convenient. 
This led to the manufacture of stone mortars, which took 
the place of the flat stones, as household utensils, for 
breaking and preparing the dry and hard articles of food. 
There is reason to believe that no farther improvements 
were made in this line, anterior to the flood. — The food, 
which was broken in this rude but healthful manner, was 

28 graham's lectures on the 

probably sometimes parched, before it was submitted to 
the processes of the mortar; and afterwards, portions of 
it were perhaps, wet up with simple water, into a coarse 
dough, which was baked on heated stones, or in heated 
earth or ashes, or in the rude ovens of the times. 

§ 783. This is probably, the full extent, to which the 
artificial processes of preparing food were carried in the 
antediluvian period of the world. And there is obvious- 
ly nothing, in all this, which takes away the necessity for 
the full performance of the function of the teeth, (§719.) 
and there is no concentration — no pernicious combina- 
tions or compounds, (§760.) no insalutary culinary pro- 
cesses which violate the laws of relation in regard to the 
teeth, gums, salivary glands, organ of taste, stomach or 
any of the alimentary organs of the human body. (§ 723.) 
These organs were therefore, preserved in all their con- 
stitutional energies and unimpaired powers, — sustained 
by appropriate and healthful aliment, and being thus sus- 
tained, in all their primeval vigor and integrity, elaborated 
for the vital wants of the whole system, a full supply of 
nourishment which was most conducive to good and per- 
manent health and long life. 

§ 784. In circumstances, and with habits such as these, 
unblighted with hereditary taint, — with constitutions little 
enervated by ancestral sensuality, it is no marvel that the 
antediluvians and all others in such circumstances and 
conditions, and with such habits, should average several 
centuries of life, and that some of them should walk erect 
with patriarchal dignity, almost to the summit of a thou- 
sand years! (§ 644.) 

§ 785. With all the deteriorations of six thousand 
years, accumulated on the vital energies of man, (§648. 
— 653.) the human constitution even yet, where circum- 
stances and conditions and habits concur to fulfil perfect- 


\y the physiological laws of man's constitutional nature, 
has power to climb far up, towards the top of primitive 
longevity", with much of primitive development and sym- 
metry and vigor and elasticity of body. (§ 683.) 

§ 786. Captain Cook, the celebrated navigator, tells us 
that, when he first visited the New Zealanders, he found 
them enjoying perfect and uninterrupted health. (§778.) 
In all the visits he made to their towns, where old and 
young men and women crowded about the voyagers, they 
never observed a single person who appeared to have any 
bodily complaint; nor among the numbers that were 
seen naked, was once perceived the slightest eruption of 
the skin ; nor the least mark which indicated that such 
eruptions had formerly existed. — Another proof of the 
health of this people, was the facility with which the 
wounds they at any time received, healed up. In a man 
who had been shot with a musket ball, through the fleshy 
part of the arm, " his wound seemed so well digested 
and in so fair a way to be healed," says Captain Cook, 
"that if I had not known that no application had been 
made to it, I should have inquired with very interested curi- 
osity, after the vulnerary herbs and surgical art of the coun- 
try. An additional evidence of the healthiness of the 
New Zealanders, is in the great number of old men found 
among them. — Many of them appeared to be very ancient, 
and yet none of them was decrepit. (§ 688.) Although 
they were not equal to the young in muscular strength, 
they did not come in the least behind them in regard to 
cheerfulness and vivacity." 

§ 787. This statement is strikingly corroborated by the 
testimony of Mr. William Bryant, a respectable mer- 
chant of Philadelphia, who in the year 1809, went with a 
company of a hundred and twenty men, under the United 
States Government, beyond the Rocky Mountains, to 

30 graham's lectures on the 

conduct to their far western homes, the Indian chiefs 
who were brought to the seat of government by Lewis 
and Clark. Mr. Bryant states that the company carried 
their provisions of food, tobacco and spirits with them, 
until they had exhausted them in the western wilds, where 
they were far beyond the reach of any supplies. — From 
that time, during their whole stay of about two years 
among the Indians, the company subsisted entirely, as 
the Indians did, on the flesh of the wild buffalo and other 
game, with such esculent fruits and roots as the forest 
afforded, and water. They had no alcoholic nor narcotic 
substance, nor any other pure stimulant to use, (§ 743.) 
not even salt with their flesh-meat, which at first, they 
burnt a little to destroy its fresh and natural taste: but they 
soon learned to relish their flesh-meat very highly without 
salt, even when slightly cooked. — Most of the men belong- 
ing to the company, were, when they left the United States, 
more or less disordered in their health and afflicted with 
chronic ailments. They were all restored to health, 
and became, like the Indians among whom they dwelt, 
remarkably robust and active. Their wounds healed 
in the same manner as stated by Captain Cook of 
the New Zealanders. One of the company had the 
fleshy part of his leg torn off by a bear. The Indians 
stripped some bark from a tree for a bandage, and did up 
the wound with a little bears' oil: and it healed with as- 
tonishing rapidity, — apparently without inflammation, and 
entirely without pain. Mr. Bryant assures me that, so 
little did the natives regard the pain of cutting or wound- 
ing their flesh, that it was no uncommon thing, for them 
on any very special and important occasion, to cut off 
one of their fingers, and present it to a friend as a memo- 
rial, or to an opposite party as a pledge ;— and he saw 


several individuals, with only the thumb and fore-finger 
feft on one hand. (§778.) 

§ 788. The Pampa Indians, of Buenos Ayres in South 
America, live almost entirely on mares' flesh and water. 
They wear little or no clothing and sleep on the ground 
in the open air. When not sleeping, they are almost 
continually on horseback, and being accustomed to this 
kind of exercise from childhood, they acquire the power 
to ride very great distances with comparatively little 
fatigue. " The mares' flesh which they eat," says Sir 
Everard Home, "is tough and lean, so that they only 
satisfy hunger and never grow fat: but when they acci- 
dentally get a buffalo and indulge much in eating fat, it 
makes them feverish and takes away their appetite. By 
fasting a day or two however, they get well. They are 
in general a well-made, stout race of men; and appear 
to be subject to no diseases. — By virtue of the great 
simplicity of their diet and their constant exercise on 
horseback, in the open air, they enjoy remarkable uni- 
formity of health, and many of them are very athletic 
and capable of great endurance, especially in those feats 
and exploits which are performed on horseback. — Captain 
Head, after living for three months among these Indians, 
on flesh and water, and being constantly on horseback, 
became so hardy as to tire ten or twelve horses in a day, 
and galloped one hundred and fifty-three miles without 
halting — remaining on horseback fourteen hours and a half 
before he arrived at the end of his journey. — A French 
gentleman of Captain Head's party told me," continues 
Sir Everard, "that he himself, a slim man, after living 
some months on flesh and water and becoming accustomed 
to riding on horseback, rode one hundred miles a day 
without fatigue. A friend of Dr. Babington's who lived 

32 graham's lectures on the 

in the Pampas for some time as a missionary, assured the 
doctor, that he was astonished to find that upon this sim- 
ple diet, lie was ahle to ride more than a hundred miles 
daily without fatigue." (§778.) 

§ 789. Some of the tribes of the Arabs of the desert, 
according to Captain Riley, subsist entirely on the milk 
of their camels. Those who adhere strictly to this diet, 
have no sickness nor disorders, and attain to very great 
age, with remarkable vigor and activity. (§ 688.) Captain 
Riley thinks he met with some who were three hundred 
years old, and many who were strong and active at the 
age of two hundred years. "I am fully of opinion," 
says he, " that a great many Arabs on this vast desert, 
actually live to the age of two hundred years and up- 
wards. Their lives are regular from birth to death: — 
their food is simple, plain and nutritious, and without 
variation: — their climate is dry and not changeable: — 
they are not subject to hard labor, yet have sufficient 
exercise for the purposes of health: — they never taste of 
wine nor ardent spirit; it being forbidden by their religion. " 
§ 790. Almost every circumstance in the lives of 
these Arabs is unquestionably in a high degree favorable 
to health and longevity; and the statements of Captain 
Riley, if correct, clearly and fully show that, the most 
perfect simplicity and uniformity of diet are most highly 
conducive to human health and strength and long life. 

§ 791. Homer also, describes a race of men inhabiting 
the mountains of ancient Sarmatia — an extensive country 
at the North of Europe and Asia, who Jhe says subsisted 
upon the milk of mares, and lived to very great age and 
were " the justest of men." 

§ 792. Before the discovery of the Ladrone islands 
by the Spaniards, about the year 1620, the inhabitants 
supposed themselves the only people in the world: and 


ihey were destitute of almost every thing that people in 
civic life think necessary to existence. There were no 
animals on the islands except birds, and these they did 
not eat. — They had never seen fire, nor could they at 
first imagine the properties or the use of it. — Their food 
was wholly vegetable; consisting of fruits and roots in 
a natural state. They were well formed, vigorous and 
active, and could carry with ease upon their shoulders, a 
weight of five hundred pounds. — Disease or sickness of 
any kind was scarcely known among them: and they 
generally attained to great age. It was no extraordinary 
thing for individuals among them to reach a hundred 
years without experiencing any sickness. (§ 778.) — 
Since they have become accustomed to the use of fire 
in preparing their food, and have deviated considerably 
from their former, simple and natural manner of living, 
diseases are much more common among them, and they 
do not average so great an age. 

§ 793. Modern travellers inform us that the inhabitants 
of the island of Malta, are remarkable for their plain, 
simple and abstemious diet, and active and industrious 
habits: and that longevity is not unusual among them: — - 
many of them living a hundred years. (§ 778.) 

§ 794. The great uniformity of health, the remarka- 
ble bodily vigor and activity, and the extraordinary lon- 
gevity, of those inhabitants of Russia, whose food is sim- 
ple, plain and coarse, and who wholly abstain from the 
use of spirits, tobacco, opium and other intoxicating 
substances, are well known to all who are acquainted 
with the present history of the human family. (§ 778.) 

§ 795. It is a notorious truth, that when, from religious 
or other motives, any sect or society of men are induced 
to adopt and perseveringly observe a simple and restrict- 
ed regimen, their bodily health and longevity are as much 
improved and increased as their virtue and piety. 

34 graham's lectures on the 

§ 79G. The ancient Bramins of India, were restricted 
by their religious principles to the most simple and natu- 
ral diet; and it is well known that so long as they rigidly 
and uniformly adhered to their religious principles in re- 
gard to their diet, they enjoyed the most uniform health 
and attained to great age; — and, considering the circum- 
stances under which they lived for many centuries, they 
were an eminently virtuous and excellent class of men. 

§ 797. Pythagoras founded his dietetic system on 
principles which he received from the Bramins of India, 
and the sect of Essenes among the Jews received and 
adopted the Pythagorean system; — and what I have said 
of the Bramins, in relation to the effects of their simple 
diet, is perfectly true of the strict followers of Pythagoras 
and of the Essenes. 

§ 798. Josephus, who was himself a Pharisee, and 
therefore, in no degree predisposed by his sectarian, reli- 
gious feelings, to do more than justice to the Essenes, 
says, " They lived the same kind of life as do those 
whom the Greeks call Pythagoreans." " Herod," con- 
tinues he, "had these Essenes in highest honor, and 
thought more of them than their mortal nature required." 
" They offer no sacrifice, because they have more pure 
lustrations of their own: — their course of life is better than 
that of other men, and they entirely addict themselves to 
husbandry. It also deserves our admiration, how much 
they exceed all other men that addict themselves to vir- 
tue, and this, in righteousness; — and indeed to such a 
degree, that, as it hath never appeared among any other 
men, neither Greeks nor Barbarians — no, not for a little 
time, — -so hath it endured a long while among them. 
They are long lived also, insomuch that many of them 
live above a hundred years, by means of the simplicity of 
their diet, and the regular course of their lives." 


§ 799. The religious sect or society of our own times, 
denominated Quakers or Friends, was founded by George 
Fox, about the middle of the seventeenth century, on 
principles of the greatest simplicity, as well in regard to 
diet, dress and manners as religion; — and for several gen- 
erations, the true followers of George Fox strictly and 
religiously adhered in practice to all the principles which 
he laid down. Not only were they exceedingly simple, 
unostentatious and spiritual in their religion, — and strictly 
honest and virtuous and pure in their morality, — and mild 
and gentle and unobtrusive and humble in their man- 
ners, — and given to hospitality and kindness, and general 
philanthropy, — and extremely plain and simple in their 
dress and speech, — but they were also exceedingly plain 
and simple and abstemious in their diet. The conse-' 
quence was that, in the course of three or four generations, 
the physiological effects, in relation to health and longev- 
ity, became too manifest and too remarkable to escape 
general observation. It must however, be remembered 
that the dietetic habits of this society, being adopted pure- 
ly from religious considerations, were therefore, not regu- 
lated in their simplicity, with reference to physiological 
principles. (§ 778.) Yet such is the importance of sim- 
plicity and temperance in diet, to the physiological wel- 
fare of the human body, that the benefits of them are 
strikingly manifested, even when they are not in all re- 
spects perfectly consistent with true physiological prin- 

§ 800. The following article concerning the relative 
length of life among the Friends or Quakers, and other 
portions of society in civic life, appeared, a considerable 
time since, in the London Medical Intelligencer, and re- 
lates to a period many years past; and it is with deep 
regret that I find myself compelled to add, that it relates 

36 graham's lectures on the 

to a state of things, which has also, in a great measure 
past away. Every true philanthropist must grieve to see 
so signal and so beautiful an exemplification of the virtue 
of temperance in all things, fade away before the luxuries 
which have already too nearly assimilated the society of 
Friends to the world of sensuality and excess around 

a. "It appears from the Register of the Society of 
Friends or Quakers, as a consequence of their temper- 
ance; — that one half of those that are born in that soci- 
ety, live to the age of forty-seven years: whereas, says 
Dr. Price, of the general population of London, one 
half live only two years and nine months. Among the 
Quakers — one in ten arrives at seventy years of age, — 
of the general population of London, only one in forty 
reaches this period of life. " 

b. In another article from the Derbyshire Courier, 
without date, it is stated that the " Society of Friends have 
recently been engaged in statistical inquiries, which tend 
to demonstrate that longevity in their sect, is the result 
of their regular habits and temperance. As a proof, it is 
stated, that in Chesterfield church-yard the aggregate age 
of the last hundred individuals buried to the date of 
16th of November, (year not given) was two thousand 
five hundred and sixteen years and six months; while 
the aggregate of the last hundred Quakers, amounted to 
four thousand seven hundred and ninety years and seven 
months; giving an average of the duration of life, of the 
former, of only twenty-five years and two months; and 
of the latter or Quakers, of forty-seven years and ten 

c. Another article, taken from the fifty-fourth number 
of the Christian Disciple, a paper of our own country, 
dated October,1817, states that the Rhode Island Month- 


ly Meeting of Friends, comprises about four hundred 
persons, the number of deaths in the last five years is 
about thirty one, and in that period, not one person has 
died of that Society, under forty-eight years of age. — 
The ages of the thirty-one persons who have died within 
the past five years, averaged seventy-four years. 

d. In 1812, eight persons died, the youngest of whom 
was sixty years old, — the eldest eighty-four: of this last 
age there were two. 

e. In 1813, also, eight persons died; — the youngest 
was forty-nine — the oldest eighty-five. 

/. In 1814, but one died; — and that one was eighty-sev- 
en years old. 

g. In 1815, five persons died; — the youngest was 
forty-eight; — the oldest was ninety. 

h. In 1816, nine persons died; — the youngest was fif- 
ty-seven years old, aud the oldest was ninety-four. 

§801. These facts in relation to the Society of 
Friends, are certainly of very great importance, and 
ought, not only, to admonish that respectable Society of 
their solemn duty, both for their own sakes as individuals 
and as a society, and for the sake of the common cause 
of philanthropy, to adhere closely to those principles and 
practices of their Founder, which have wrought out for 
them such signal benefits, and guard most cautiously and 
rigorously against those treacherous inroads of sensuality, 
among them, which will completely destroy all these 
benefits; but they ought also, to admonish the whole 
civilized world of the truth and value of those physio- 
logical principles, which require plainness and simplicity 
and temperance in human diet. 

§ 802. I might add many similar illustrations of the 
principles which I have advanced, from the history of 

VOL. II. 4 

38 graiiam's lectures on the 

other sects and particular neighborhoods of our own 
country, but I deem it unnecessary. 

§S03. "According to the last census of the United 
States, the free white male population of the state of North 
Carolina, numbers 235,954, — the female, — 23G,S89. — 
Total free white population, 472,843.— Of these, 202 
only were foreigners not naturalized. — Of this whole 
number of free white people, there are fifty-eight over a 
hundred years old. — Of slaves, the whole number of both 
sexes is 245,001, and of free people of color, 19,543: 
— making of colored persons— slaves and free, 265,144.. 
— Of this whole number of the colored population, 247 
are over a hundred years old. — Massachusetts, with 
a population of 603,359 free white persons, has only 
five over a hundred years old. Whilst out of 7,645 
free persons of color in Massachusetts, there are fifty 
over a hundred years of age. — There is therefore, of 
the white population of Massachusetts, one in 120,671 
1-2 over a hundred years old. — Of the white popu- 
lation of North Carolina there is, over a hundred years 
old, one in 8,152.— Of the colored population of North 
Carolina there is, over a hundred years old, one in 1,073. 
— Of the colored population of Massachusetts there is, 
over a hundred years old, one in 152 3-4." 

§ 804. How shall we account for this very remarka- 
ble difference, in the comparative longevity of the white 
and colored population of these two states?— The whites 
over a hundred years old in North Carolina, arc, in pro- 
portion to those of Massachusetts, nearly fifteen to one. 
—The colored people over a hundred years old in North 
Carolina, are in proportion to those of the whites of the 
same state, nearly eight to one,— and in proportion to 
those of the whites of Massachusetts more than 562 to 
one! While the colored people over a hundred years 


old in Massachusetts, are, in proportion to those of the 
colored people in North Carolina, seven to one; and in 
proportion to those of the white people in North Caroli- 
na, 53 to one; and in proportion to those of the white 
people in Massachusetts, about 3,950 to one. Now 
then, why is the proportion of white centenarians in North 
Carolina so much greater than in Massachusetts? and 
why is the proportion of colored centenarians in North 
Carolina so much greater than that of the whites of the 
same state? — and why is the proportion of colored cen- 
tenarians in Massachusetts so much greater than in North 

§805. It is evident from these facts, as well as from 
every other just consideration, that the climate of Mas- 
sachusetts is more favorable to human longevity than 
that of North Carolina. — The white people of North 
Carolina, as a general fact, do not labor near so hard as the 
whites of Massachusetts, and they are far more simple 
and less given to excess in their food. The severe 
labor of the whites in Massachusetts, in itself considered, 
is in some measure unfavorable to long life. Their active 
employment, together with their healthful and invigorating 
climate, exceedingly increases their appetite for food, and 
their tables are always furnished, not only with great 
abundance, but generally with considerable variety; and 
too frequently, this variety is very great, and comprises 
many dishes of compound, concentrated substances: — 
and flesh-meat is almost universally found upon their 
tables three times a day. — With such temptations before 
them, and with a keen appetite, and without thinking of the 
danger of excess, the white people of Massachusetts, as 
a body, generally eat, at least, double the quantity of 
food, that the vital economy of their bodies requires, and 
that food is seldom of a plain and simple kind. They 

40 graham's lectures on the 

rise from their tables with overloaded stomachs, and go 

almost immediately to hard labor, or business which re- 
quires severe mental exercise, and thus, in either case, 
much increase the embarrassment of the stomach. It is 
probably true that, the white population of Massachusetts 
and of New England generally, are, as a body, without 
being conscious of it, the most gluttonous people in the 
world! Not that they are naturally more gluttonously 
disposed than others, but all their circumstances and 
habits, and the unmeasured abundance with which their 
industry and enterprise are crowned, concur to make them 
so. It is a common thing for farmers in New England, 
of the most athletic frames and vigorous constitutions, to 
complain of being worn out by hard labor before they 
are fifty years old: yet were they, from their youth 
up, compelled to live on half the food which they con- 
sume, and that food much plainer and more simple, they 
would complain less of the effects of hard labor and of 
the infirmities of age, at eighty years, than they now do 
at fifty. 

§ 80G. The dietetic and other habits of the colored 
people of North Carolina, come much nearer to physio- 
logical propriety, than those of the whites of the same 
State. Hence their much greater proportion of longev- 
ity. — The dietetic habits of the colored people of Mas- 
sachusetts, are, all things considered, nearly as physio- 
logically correct, and perhaps quite as much so, as those 
of the colored people of North Carolina, — but in all other 
respects their habits and circumstances are much more 
favorable to long life. — Their climate is healthier; they 
are less exposed to the action of foreign morbific causes 
— they are free from the depressing effects of slavery, 

and are every way more comfortable, as a general fact 

and much more intelligent. (§774.) It must also be 


remembered that the colored people, in both Massachu- 
setts and North Carolina, have much more constitutional 
stamina than the whites. They are much less tainted 
with hereditary, predispositions and influences. 

§807. Let it be continually kept in mind however, 
that in all these cases,* with whatever correctness of habit 
and circumstances there may be, there is still, in many 
respects, so wide a departure from physiological rectitude 
(§ 774.) that the facts which they afford are greatly mod- 
ified. Yet with all this detriment, (§778.) it is never- 
theless irrefragably true that the traditions and history of 
every nation and tribe of men on the face of the whole 
earth, — both continents and islands, — in all periods of 
time, when accurately understood, concur to demonstrate 
this general law of the human species; that, all other 
things being right, whether man subsists on vegetable or 
animal food, the more perfectly his diet is adapted in sim- 
plicity, plainness and naturalness (§ 775.) to the consti- 
tutional laws of his nature, the more perfectly all the 
interests of that nature are sustained. (§ 768.) 

* From § 779. to § 806. 


The natural dietetic character of man, what? — The foundation of popu- 
lar opinion on the subject — Opinion of BufFon — True statement of the 
question — It is a question of Comparative Anatomy and Physiology — 
How the criteria of Comparative Anatomy are ascertained and estab- 
lished — Correct mode of inductive reasoning in Comparative Anato- 
my — Correct practical application of general principles — The teeth of 
man compared with the teeth of other animals as to number and 
arrangement — The masticatory organs of man particularly compar- 
ed with those of carnivorous and herbivorous animals — The diges- 
tive organs of man compared with those of carnivorous and herbivorous 
animals — The masticatory and digestive organs of man compared with 
those of omnivorous animals — The masticatory and digestive .prgans 
of man compared with those of frugivorous animals — The physiologi- 
cal capabilities of man in regard to omnivorous habits compared with 
those of other animals — Testimony of Linnams, Cuvier, Lawrence, 
Bell and others — How far the character of the gastric juice deter- 
mines the natural dietetic character of an animal— The versatility of 
the physiological powers of the human stomach, common to other ani- 
mals—Natural simplicity best for all— False reasoning of naturalists- 
How far reason is paramount to instinct — Does reason make man natu- 
rally omnivorous?— General conclusion from the evidence of Com- 
parative Anatomy— How far climate determines the dietetic charac- 
ter of man— How far instinct leads man to be omnivorous— Early 
propensities of children— Infants taught to smoke in India— Instinct, 
how far a primary and true law of action in man and other animals- 
Why the average longevity of man has been nearly the same in all 
climates and circumstances and with all varieties of dietetic habits- 
Man always goes as far in indulgence as he can without sudden de- 
struction, and what he has to his advantage in one point he sacrifices 
in another-Hence, universal sensuality— The principles stated by 
which true physiological evidence is ascertained— The assertion of 
Buffon and popular opinion in regard to the necessity for animal food 

graham's lectures, etc. 43 

to nourish and sustain the human body — Proportions of nutritious 
matter in vegetable and animal food — General history of the human 
species with regard to the use of animal food — The physiological effects 
of flesh-meat on the human body — Physiological difference between 
animal and vegetable food in sustaining the body in labor — Illustra- 
tions, tin! Russian, Greek and other laboring men — Patagonians and 
other flesh-eating tribes — General conclusions from the anatomical 
and physiological evidence thus far examined. 

§ 808. Having explained and illustrated the constitu- 
tional laws of relation between the alimentary organs and 
special senses of the human body and those foreign or 
external substances, designed by the Creator for the 
food of man; (§ 693. — 767.) and having extensively 
exemplified the doctrines laid down by the general expe- 
rience of mankind (§779. — 807.) so far as the impor- 
tance of a plain, simple and natural diet is concerned, 
(§ 775.) we are now prepared to inquire, 

What is the Natural Dietetic Character of Man? 

§ 809. The prevailing opinion on this subject, in our 
country and in many parts of Europe, is that, man is 
naturally an omnivorous animal: — that the highest and 
most permanent good of his nature requires that he 
should subsist on a mixed diet of vegetable and animal 

§ 810. Custom is the only authority for this opinion 
with the mass of those who entertain it. But many 
naturalists and physiologists have endeavored to support 
it by what they have supposed to be the indications of 
man's alimentary organs. It is an important truth how- 
ever, that naturalists and physiologists, even when they 
claim to be strictly governed by the principles of induc- 
tive reasoning, are not unfrequently as erroneous in their 
apprehension and interpretation of facts (§39.) and as 

44 graham's lectures on the 

absurd in their conclusions as the unscientific multitude, 

who are governed entirely by tradition, custom, habit and 

§811. Buffon, whose writings have certainly as just 
a claim to poetry as to sound science, thus expresses 
himself on this subject:—" 11' man were obliged to abstain 
totally from flesh, he would not — at least in our climates 
—either exist or multiply. An entire abstinence from 
flesh can have no effect but to enfeeble nature. To 
preserve himself in proper plight, man requires not only 
the use of this solid nourishment, but even to vary it. 
To obtain complete vigor, he must choose that species 
of food which is most agreeable to his constitution: and 
as he cannot preserve himself in a slate of activity but 
by procuring new sensations, he must give his senses 
their full stretch, and eat a variety of meats, to prevent 
the disgust arising from a uniformity of nourishment." 

§812. Nothing can well be more egregiously whim- 
sical and fallacious than this whole tissue of assertion and 
reasoning, of the celebrated naturalist: — nor is it surpris- 
ing that a mind thus fanciful in its speculations — or rather 
thus blinded by custom and personal feelings, should find 
support for its hypothesis in the structure of the teeth 
and digestive organs. But it is truly amazing that so 
many scientific men, who profess to think and to investi- 
gate for themselves, should so tamely embrace and repeat 
notions so utterly erroneous and absurd. 

§ 813. Let it be distinctly understood; the question is 
not whether man is capable of subsisting on a very great 
variety of both vegetable and animal substances, — for we 
have seen .(§ 694. et seq.) that he does possess the 
constitutional capability of deriving nourishment from 
almost every thing in the vegetable and animal kingdoms: 
— but the question is;— do the highest interests of the 


human constitution indispensably require that man should, 
as a general rule, subsist on both vegetable and animal 
food? — It is not whether he can, but whether he must 
subsist on such a mixed diet in order to secure the 
highest and best good of which his nature is capable. 

§ 814. Some have considered this wholly an anatomi- 
cal question, and have asserted that, the structure and 
conformation of the teeth and digestive organs, constitute 
the only evidence in ihe case, by which the truth is to 
be ascertained. But while I admit that the anatomical 
evidence is very full and conclusive, I must also contend 
that the physiological evidence is, if possible, even more 
powerful and determinate: and therefore I shall proceed 
to examine, — first, the anatomical, and second, the 
physiological evidence in relation to the natural dietetic 
character of man. 

§815. As an anatomical question it is purely one of 
comparative anatomy: — that is, — the evidence must be 
obtained by comparing the alimentary organs of man with 
those of other animals whose natural dietetic character is 
well known: — and, therefore, that the true nature and 
force of the evidence may be understood, it is necessary 
that we should know precisely the mode in which the 
criteria of reasoning on the question, have been estab- 

§816. These criteria are not self-evident or manifest 
principles in nature; nor have they been ascertained by 
a priori reasoning, or by reasoning from causes to effects; 
— but by a posteriori reasoning — or reasoning from known 
effects back to principles. 

§817. Naturalists did not, in total ignorance of the 
dietetic habits of animals, go out into the fields and forests 
and catch or slay individuals of the different species of 
animals in a state of nature, and examine their organs 

46 graham's lectures on the 

and classify them as to their dietetic character, according 
to their organization, purely from such an anatomical 
inspection, without first studying the natural dietetic 
habits and natural history of the animals which they 
classified.— Or in other words, naturalists did not first 
ascertain that the lion, tiger, and other animals of like 
alimentary organs are carnivorous, from the structure and 
conformation of their organs. But, long before any 
zoological classification of these animals was attempted, 
they were well known to be beasts of prey — to subsist 
naturally on the flesh of other animals: or if their natural 
dietetic character was not known, it was first ascertained 
by carefully observing their natural dietetic habits; and 
with this knowledge naturalists proceeded to examine 
their organization; and found that the teeth and certain 
other organs, in all flesh-eating animals, are, in certain 
particulars, alike; and thus they inductively arrived at the 
general conclusion, or rule of reasoning in comparative 
anatomy, that all animals having alimentary organs of a 
certain description, are naturally carnivorous. In the same 
manner, they first learned the natural dietetic character of 
the ox and other herbivorous animals, from their natural 
dietetic habits, and then proceeded to examine their 
organization, and found that to a certain extent,, all animals 
which were known to be herbivorous are alike in their 
alimentary organs; and thus again, they arrived at the 
general conclusion, or rule of reasoning in comparative 
anatomy, that all animals having alimentary organs of a 
certain description, are herbivorous animals. In this 
purely inductive manner the grand criteria or principles 
of reasoning on the subject before us, have been estab- 
lished: — so that, now it is deemed no longer neces- 
sary to study the natural dietetic habits of an animal in 
order to know its natural dietetic character. It is suffi- 


cient for all the purposes of zoological science, to examine 
its organization. If it is found to possess alimentary organs 
like the lion, tiger and other carnivorous animals whose 
natural dietetic character is known, it is unhesitatingly 
and correctly called a carnivorous animal; or if it is found 
to possess alimentary organs like the ox, deer, sheep and 
other herbivorous animals, it is called an herbivorous 

§ 818. In this manner, when the bones of animals of 
an extinct or unknown species, are found in caves or 
deeply imbedded in the earth, scientific naturalists 
readily ascertain the natural dietetic character of those 
animals, by these established criteria in comparative 
anatomy, — especially if any of the teeth or bones of the 
feet be found. 

§819. Let it be clearly understood then, that we do 
not, in the first place, ascertain that all animals with a cer- 
tain kind of organs are carnivorous, — and all animals with 
a certain other kind of organs are herbivorous, &c; but 
we first ascertain that all carnivorous animals have a cer- 
tain kind of alimentary organs, and that all herbivorous 
animals have a certain other kind of alimentary organs; 
and then, we assert the converse of these propositions, 
viz: that all animals of certain organization are car- 
nivorous and dial all animals of a certain other kind of 
organization are herbivorous, &c; and these last general 
propositions arc thus established as the general principles 
of reasoning, or grand criteria in comparative anatomy, 
by which wc are to ascertain the classsification and natu- 
ral dietetic character of all animals whose natural history 
is unknown. Or in other words, we do not first learn 
the natural dietetic character of animals from their teeth 
and others organs, but we first learn the dietetic character 
of their teeth and other organs from their natural dietetic 

48 graham's lectures on tiif. 

habits. For if we were totally ignorant of the dietetic 
habits of all animals it would not be possible for us, by 
the most careful examination of their alimentary organs, 
to ascertain their natural dietetic character, with any 
degree of certainty. But when we have first studied the 
natural habits and then the anatomy of animals, and thus 
ascertained the correspondence between their natural 
dietetic habits and their peculiar organization, so as to 
be able to establish general principles, or scientific crite- 
ria, we then think we can (dearly perceive the constitu- 
tional adaptation of their alimentary organs to their natu- 
ral food: — we then believe that, Ave can plainly see that, 
the organs of carnivorous animals arc manifestly fitted to 
seize and tear and cut the flesh on which those animals 
subsist; and that, we can as plainly discern that, the 
organs of herbivorous animals are fitted to crop and 
grind the grass and other vegetable substances which 
constitute the natural food of such animals. 

§ 820. With this full explanation of scientific prin- 
ciples or criteria of comparative anatomy in regard to the 
question before us, and the manner in which those criteria 
are established, we shall now be able to understand the 
true character and force of all evidence relative to the 
subject under consideration. 

§ 821. If the alimentary organs of an animal of an ex- 
tinct or unknown species, whose natural history is entire- 
ly unknown to us, be presented for our examination, and 
we find that they are like those of the lion, tiger, &c, 
we say that they are the organs of a carnivorous animal: — 
and the true elements of our reasoning in the case, are 
these : : — these organs are like the alimentary organs of the 
lion, tiger, &c; — but the lion, tiger and all other animals 
thus organized, whose natural history is known, are natu- 
rally carnivorous animals; — therefore, these are the ali- 


mentary organs of a carnivorous animal. — If on the oilier 
hand, we find that the organs are like those of the horse, 
ox, deer, sheep, &c, we unhesitatingly say that, they are 
the organs of an herbivorous animal; and the true ele- 
ments of our reasoning in the case, would be precisely 
the same as in the case just stated. 

§ 822. But suppose that, on a careful examination, we 
find that the organs which are the subject of our inquiry, 
are neither like those of carnivorous nor like those of 
herbivorous animals; but in some respects resembling 
each of them and in some respects differing from both of 
them? — In such a case, can we, according to correct 
principles of reasoning in comparative anatomy, (§ 817.) 
legitimately come to the conclusion that the animal to 
which the organs in our hand belonged, was organized to 
subsist on both vegetable and animal food, as his natural 
and most appropriate diet? — Most certainly not! No 
man ought to make any pretensions to scientific logic, 
who could reason thus! For it would be to disregard en- 
tirely the true elements of reasoning, (§ 819.) essential 
to the nature of the subject, and to lose sight of all estab- 
lished principles in the science of comparative anatomy, 
which relate to the question before us! 

§ 823. How then, do the true principles of reasoning 
in comparative anatomy, require that we should proceed 
in such a case? — If we find on careful and accurate ex- 
amination, that the organs under our inspection, are neither 
like those of carnivorous, nor like those of herbivorous 
animals, we are to conclude that the animal whose they 
were, belonged to neither of these orders; and if the ani- 
mal belonged to an extinct or unknown species, the naturaL 
history of which is also wholly unknown, and cannot now 
be studied; all correct principles in comparative anatomy, 
most clearly and decidedly demand that we should dili- 

VOL. II. 5 

50 graiiam's lectures on the 

gently explore the animal kingdom, and, if possible, find 
some type with which the organs under our examination 
correspond. But if no exact type of our specimen can 
be found, then we must ascertain what order oi animals 
have alimentary organs most nearly resembling our speci- 
men, and when this is done, we must conclude that the 
animal to which our specimen belonged, came nearer to 
that order than to any other known order of animals, in 
its natural dietetic character; and in all that our specimen 
varies from that order, and approaches to a resemblance 
of some other known order, we are to conclude that the 
animal to which our specimen belonged, differed from the 
former, and approached to an agreement with the latter, 
in its natural dietetic character. But if we find an order, 
with the alimentary organs of which, our specimen fully 
corresponds, then we are irresistibly led to the conclu- 
sion that the animal to which our specimen belonged, was 
of the same dietetic character with that order; — and if 
now, we can, by studying the natural history — or observ- 
ing the natural dietetic habits of that order, fully ascertain 
the natural dietetic character of the animals belonging to 
it, then we know the natural dietetic character of the 
animal to which our specimen belonged, (§ 821.) just so 
far as the most rigorously correct principles and reason- 
ings of comparative anatomy can teach us. 

§ 824. Now then, with the strictest application of these 
principles, and this mode of reasoning, to the question 
before us; What is the natural dietetic character of man, 
according to the real and true evidence of comparative 
anatomy ? 

§ 825. In considering this question, it is important 
that we should remember that, whatever may be true 
concerning the natural dietetic character of man, there 
is neither now on earth, nor has there been for many cen- 


turies, any portion of the human race, so far as we know, 
which have lived in all respects so perfectly in a state of 
nature, (§ 774.) or in a state to which the constitutional 
nature of man is most perfectly adapted, as to afford us 
an opportunity to study the true natural history of man, 
and learn his natural dietetic character from his natural 
dietetic habits; (§ 817.) and therefore, so far as this ques- 
tion is anatomically considered, man must in strict pro- 
priety be regarded as an extinct species; — because though 
man is actually a living species of animals, yet the spe- 
cies, as a whole, have become so artificial in their dietetic 
habits, that it is impossible to derive from those habits, 
any evidence which can justly be considered unquestion- 
able, in relation to the natural dietetic character of man: 
and consequently, our evidence and reasoning in the case 
must be precisely such as would be proper, if man were 
really an extinct species and his natural history wholly 
unknown. (§ 823.) 

§ 826. Let us suppose then, that the alimentary organs 
of the human body, are placed before us for our examina- 
tion, in order to ascertain the natural dietetic character 
of man. — In the first place, those organs speak no dis- 
tinct and unequivocal language — afford no clear and deter- 
minate indications, from which, without reference to any 
thing else, we can learn the natural dietetic character 
of man. (§ 819.) — In the second place, the purely natu- 
ral dietetic habits of man are wholly unknown, (§825.) 
except as a matter of extremely ancient history and tra- 
dition; (§7S0.) and we have now no way by which we 
can become acquainted with those habits, from observa- 
tion. From the nature and circumstances of the case 
therefore, we are under the necessity of drawing our evi- 
dence from comparative anatomy in the same manner as 
we would if the species were extinct and unknown. That 

52 Graham's lectures on the 

is, we have no other way of ascertaining the natural die- 
tetic character of man from his alimentary organs, than 
by comparing those organs with the alimentary organs of 
other animals in a pure state of nature: (§821.) and if 
we can find an order of animals whose alimentary organs 
perfectly correspond with those of man, and can accu- 
rately and fully ascertain the natural dietetic habits and 
eharacter of that order of animals, then have we learned, 
so far as we can learn from comparative anatomy, the 
true, natural dietetic character of man. (§ 823.) 

§ 827. In the human head, as we have seen, (§ 326.) 
there are thirty-two teeth: — eight incisors, four cuspids 
or eye teeth, eight bicuspids or small cheek teeth, 
and twelve molars or large cheek teeth: and the teeth 
of each jaw, in a perfectly normal state, form an uninter- 
rupted series, in close juxtaposition, and all of nearly 
equal length. (Fig. 23.) In this particular, man differs 
from all other animals. For even in the species nearest 
to man, there is a considerable space between the front 
and the corner teeth; (fig. 59.) while in many other 
species, both of carnivorous and of herbivorous animals, 
the space is still greater, both between the incisors and 
the cuspids and between these latter and the cheek teeth. 
(Figs. 56. 57.) Carnivorous animals have in each jaw, 
six incisors or front teeth, two cuspids, and from eight 
to twelve cheek teeth. Gnawing animals, such as the 
rat, the beaver, the squirrel, &c, have two incisors 
in each jaw, no cuspids, and from six to ten cheek 
teeth. Ruminating animals without horns, as the camel, 
dromedary, &c, have two upper and six lower incisors', 
from two to four cuspids, and from ten to twelve 
cheek teeth in each jaw. Ruminating animals with horns, 
such as the ox, sheep, &c., have no upper incisors' 
eight lower incisors, no cuspids,— except in the stag, 



which has them in the upper jaw, — and twelve cheek 
teeth in each jaw. — Animals with undivided hoofs, such 
as the horse, have six incisors in each jaw, two cuspids 
in the upper jaw, none in the lower jaw, and twelve cheek 
teeth in each. 

§ 828. The body of the human tooth above the gum, 
we have seen, (§ 327.) consists of dense bone, which is 
every where covered on its external surface, with a plate 
of enamel. In this respect, man resembles both carniv" 
orous and frugivorous animals, and differs from the purely 
herbivorous, whose teeth are composed of intermixed 
layers of bone and enamel. 

§829. The incisors or front teeth of the human 
head, are broad, flat, chisel-shaped teeth (fig. 55. I) 

Fig. 55, 



IA / \ 

The under jaw and teeth of man, 

designed to cut the substances on which man feeds, into 
convenient masses for the action of the cheek teeth. 
(§ 32G. Fig. 21. Nos. 1. 2.) The front teeth of carniv* 
orous animals are more rounded and pointed and stand 
farther apart, (fig. 56.) and bear no resemblance to those 
of man. The incisors or front teeth of herbivorous 
animals, are broad like those of the human head; (fig. 53.) 
but they are in general much stronger, and the cutting 


graham's lectures on the 

ends are considerably thicker and more blunt; and in 
some species, they vary almost as widely from those of 
man, as the front teeth of carnivorous animals do. 

Fig. 56. 

The masticatory organs of a panther. 

§ 830. The corner or eye teeth in the human head, 
technically called the cuspidati or cuspids, (fig. 55. C) are 
usually of the same length of crown, as the front teeth, 
(§ 326.) and stand close to them. They approach more 
to a point than the front teeth; (fig. 21. No. 3.) but their 

Fig. 57. 

The masticatory organs of a camel. 

peculiar shape indicates nothing more than that they 
constitute the first step of transition, from the chisel- 
shaped, cutting teeth in front, to the large square grinding 


teeth in the back part of the jaws. — The cuspids or 
tusks of carnivorous animals, are round "and pointed and 
much longer and stronger than the front teeth; and are 
separated by a considerable space both from the front and 
cheekteeth, (fig. 56.) In some species, these teeth are very 
long, acuminated and powerful; and are obviously fitted 
to serve as weapons of offence and defence: and may be 
used also to seize, hold and tear the prey. — Some of the 
herbivorous animals, such as the horse, the camel and 
the stag, (§ 827.) have the cuspids, and they are propor- 
tionally longer, and more pointed and powerful than the 
corner teeth of the human head, and are separated from 
the other teeth by a large space. In the camel (fig. 57.) 
the cuspids bear a strong resemblance to those of pre- 
daceous animals, (fig. 56.) and appear to be designed for 
weapons of offence and defence. 

§831. Between the cuspids of carnivorous animals 
and the corner teeth of the human head there is not the 
slightest resemblance! — not even enough for sober fancy 
to build an analogy upon! — and yet, the assumed resem- 
blance of the eye teeth of man to the cuspids of car- 
nivorous animals has been the principal evidence urged 
to prove the natural flesh-eating character of man. But 
if it were true that this assumed resemblance had some 
reality, the argument founded upon it to prove man to 
be naturally in some measure a flesh-eating animal, would 
equally prove that the horse and the camel and other 
species of herbivorous animals naturally require a still 
larger proportion of flesh-meat in their diet. (§ 830.) 
According to this evidence, the camel of the desert is 
naturally as carnivorous as the dog. (Fig. 57.) But 
the assumed resemblance between the eye teeth of man 
and the cuspids of carnivorous animals has no reality, 
and therefore all the reasoning founded upon it, relative 

56 graiia.m's lectures on the 

to the natural dietetic character of man, is utterly fallacious 
and destitute of any true ground of support. And this 
is so incontrovertibly, so palpably correct, that it does 
not seem possible that scientific gentlemen who have 
repeated the whimsical speculation concerning the canine 
teeth of man, could ever seriously have examined the 
subject, or for one moment actually compared the eye 
teeth of man with the cuspids of a common house-cat. 
§ 832. The bicuspids, or small check teeth of man, 
(fig. 55. B) have two prominences, or obtuse points 
(§ 326.) — the one on the outer, and the other on the inner 
side of tbe mashing or grinding end: — the outer one being 
generally somewbat more prominent than the inner. 
(Fig. 21. Nos. 4. 5.) The molars, or large cheek, or 
double teeth in man, (fig. 55. G) have large, and nearly 
square crowns; (fig. 21. Nos. G. 7. 8.) presenting broad, 
mashing and grinding surfaces, with the corners slightly 
elevated, so as to form on each tooth, four or five very 
blunt prominences, (§32G.) thus increasing the grinding 
and triturating power of the teeth. The bicuspids, or 
small cheek teeth of carnivorous animals, have two or 
three sharp points somewhat resembling saw-teeth, (fig. 
50.) and these points are not situated side by side, or 
parallel with each other, like the blunt tubercles of the 
human bicuspids; but they are placed one before the 
other, like the teeth of a saw, and appear to be fitted 
wholly for cutting and tearing. The large cheek, or 
double teeth of carnivorous animals (fig. 56.) also rise 
into very high and sharp points like those just described, 

only they are much larger and more prominent the 

middle point of each tooth rising above the others, like a 
spear. These teeth present nothing which approaches to 
a grinding or triturating surface; but like the small cheek 
teeth, they are fitted for tearing and cutting, and cannot 


admit of the grinding or lateral motion. — The molar, or 
cheek teeth of herbivorous animals, have very large, 
square, or oblong-square crowns, — not however propor- 
tionally larger than those of man, (fig. 57.) but their 
construction is entirely different. (§ 828.) They are 
composed of alternate, longitudinal plates of bone and 
enamel, and the whole crown is surrounded on its sides 
with a plate of enamel like human teeth: but the grinding 
surface is not covered by enamel like human teeth, but 
presents the uncovered ends of the alternate, longitudinal 
plates of bone and enamel: — and the plates of bone being 
much softer than those of enamel, wear away much faster 
in mastication, and thus the plates of enamel are caused 
continually to be more prominent than those of bone; 
and thereby a roughness is given to the grinding surface 
which greatly increases its dividing and triturating power, 
upon the grass, twigs, boughs and other vegetable and 
woody substances on which herbivorous animals naturally 
subsist. — In some species, the grinding surface is nearly 
flat: — in others, the corners of the crown are considerably 
more elevated than the centre. 

§ 833. The cheek teeth in the lower jaw of man, shut 
against those of the upper jaw (fig. 23.) so as to bring 
the grinding surfaces of the two series together, in oppo- 
sition to each other, and thus mash and grind the substan- 
ces which come between them in the act of mastication. 
In this respect man resembles herbivorous and frugivor- 
ous animals. But the cheek teeth in the lower jaw of 
carnivorous animals, shut within those of the upper jaw: 
so that, if we take a pair of shears and file the two cut- 
ting edges into teeth like a saw, and then cut with them, 
we shall get a very good idea of the appearance and 
operation of the cheek teeth of carnivorous animals in 
the upper and lower jaw. The manner in which these 

68 graiiam's lectures on the 

teeth shut together fits them still further for cutting the 
flesh on which the animals feed, into small masses pre- 
paratory for swallowing, and at the same time stdl further 
precludes all lateral or grinding motion in the act of 

§ 834. In herhivorous animals, the articulation or joint 
of the lower jaw is such as to admit of very free lateral 
motion in the act of mastication; as we see in the cow, 
and other ruminating animals, when chewing the cud. — 
In man also, the articulation of the under jaw (fig. 55. A) 
admits of very considerable lateral motion of the jaw in 
the act of mastication, (§ 323.) so that the grinding 
surfaces of the cheek teeth of the upper and lower jaws, 
can move upon each other from right to left and from 
left to right, and thus completely triturate or grind the 
food into very minute particles before it is swallowed. 
(§ U'i.) Hut in carnivorous animals, all lateral motion 
of the lower jaw in the act of mastication, is not only 
precluded by the structure of the teeth (§ 832.) and the 
shutting of the lower cheek teeth within those of the 
upper, (§ 833.) but it is rendered impossible by the arti- 
culation of the lower jaw, which only admits of the back- 
wards and forwards motion. — In all these animals, the 
muscles by which the motions of the lower jaw are 
effected, correspond with the articulation. In carnivor- 
ous animals, the muscles by which the lower jaw is raised 
up and the teeth shut together in the act of cutting or 
tearing the food, are very large and powerful; but those 
muscles which correspond with those in herbivorous 
animals by which the lateral motion is effected, are ex- 
ceedingly small; while in herbivorous animals the muscles 
of lateral motion are largely developed, and those by 
which the under jaw is raised up are comparatively much 
smaller than in carnivorous animals. In this respect 


again, as in the articulation of the under jaw, man closely 
resembles herbivorous animals, and differs entirely from 
the carnivorous. 

§835. Such is a faithful and true comparison of the 
masticatory organs of man, with those of carnivorous 
and herbivorous animals: and every one who will take 
the trouble to examine these organs in a house-cat, in a 
horse or cow and in the human head, and compare them 
together, will find a complete demonstration of what I 
have stated. — We see therefore, that there is no resem- 
blance between the masticatory organs of man and those 
of carnivorous animals. The latter are fitted to seize and 
hold the struggling prey, to tear the tenacious flesh from 
the bones and to cut it into masses small enough to 
be swallowed; and being thus swallowed in raw masses 
into stomachs formed to receive it in such a condition, 
it passes less rapidly through the gastric cavity, and con- 
sequently sustains the animal a longer time, and causes 
a less hasty return of hunger, than if the flesh were finely 
comminuted or ground by the teeth. But the masticatory 
organs of man are fitted to cut the food into masses 
suitable to the capacity and operations of the mouth and 
to grind those masses into fine particles, and thoroughly 
mix them with the saliva; and thus bring the food into 
precisely that condition which best fits it for the human 
stomach. (§727.) 

§ 836. Nothing is more incontrovertibly true then, than 
that, so far as the masticatory organs are considered, com- 
parative anatomy does not afford the slightest evidence 
that man is in any measure a carnivorous animal: and I 
am bold to affirm that, such an idea never was drawn from 
any actually perceived resemblance between the masti- 
catory organs of man and those of carnivorous animals: 
but it was derived entirely and exclusively from the diete- 

60 graham's lectures on the 

tic habits of man: and being thus derived, it gave birth 
to the creative fancy which imagined and announced the 
resemblance, and this imagined resemblance has been 
confidently relied on by thousands, because they did not 
care to take the trouble to examine for themselves. 

§ S37. Between the masticatory organs of man and 
those of purely herbivorous animals, there is some resem- 
blance; and in some respects that resemblance is strong: 
but the evidence is by no means sufficient to justify the 
conclusion that man is naturally herbivorous. So far as 
the masticatory organs are considered then, comparative 
anatomy affords no conclusive evidence that man is natu- 
rally an herbivorous or grass-eating animal. 

§ 838. The salivary glands (§ 340.) of herbivorous 
animals are, as a general fact, comparatively larger than 
those of carnivorous animals. In man these glands are 
not proportionally so large as in the purely herbivorous, 
nor so small as in carnivorous animals; but they are ex- 
ceedingly copious in their secretion, and therefore in their 
physiological character, they approach nearer in man to 
those of herbivorous than to those of carnivorous animals. 
They are also more largely developed in those portions 
of the human family who have long subsisted on vege- 
table food, than in those which subsist mostly on animal 

§ 839. As a general fact, herbivorous animals have a 
much longer alimentary canal than carnivorous animals: — 
but this is not invariably the case. The hyena, which 
subsists on the dead carcasses of animals, eating both flesh 
and bones, has an alimentary canal of about the same 
comparative length as that of the horse, which is herbivo- 
rous. The seal and porpoise, which live wholly on animal 
food, have an alimentary canal twenty-eight times the 
length of the body; and this is equal to the greatest 


comparative length in herbivorous animals. — " Many 
species of animals," says Carus, in his System of Com- 
parative Anatomy, "which live entirely on animal food, 
have an extraordinary length of the alimentary canal, 
ranging from eleven to twenty-eight times the length of 
the body." Nevertheless, it is predicated as a general 
law, by naturalists, that the average length of the ali- 
mentary canal is relatively much less in carnivorous, 
than in herbivorous animals. In those animals which 
subsist wholly on animal food, the length of the ali- 
mentary canal varies from one, to six or eight times 
the length of the body, as a general rule: but to this 
rule, as we have seen, there are some exceptions. — In 
herbivorous animals with undivided hoofs, such as the 
horse, the canal varies from eight to eleven times the 
length of the body. — In herbivorous animals that divide 
the hoof and chew the cud, such as the ox, deer, sheep, 
&c, the canal varies from eleven to twenty-eight times 
the length of the body. 

§ 840. In ascertaining the comparative length of the 
alimentary canal in all these animals, naturalists have 
taken the length of the body in a straight line from the 
snout to the posterior extremity of the back-bone, but in 
man, they have measured from the top of the head to the 
bottom of the heel: and by this manifestly erroneous 
admeasurement, they have unfairly reduced the compara- 
tive length of the alimentary canal about one half, and 
made it to appear that the comparative length of the 
alimentary canal in man, varies from three to eight times 
the length of the body: and thus they have succeeded in 
associating man with carnivorous animals. But if the 
alimentary canal in man be compared with the length of 
the body, in the same manner that it is in all other animals, 
it will be found that its average length is about ten or 

VOL. II. 6 

63 graham's lectures on the 

twelve times the length of (He body. This is evidently 
the true admeasurement, and it is surprising that any 
other should ever have been adopted, even for the sake 
of supporting a favorite theory: — and especially one so 
palpably unjust as thai which has heretofore been allowed. 
§841. Carnivorous animals, as a general rule, have a 
simple stomach, which is not fitted to retain the food a 
\<t\ long time, while herbivorous animals have either a 
complicated Stomach, (§319.) or a simple one, which is 
formed to retain its food much longer than that of car- 
nivorous animals. The human stomach is simple, (fig. 
29.) but not more so than that of tin? horse, and it is 
manifestly formed to retain the food for a considerable 
time. (§347.)- — The colon or large intestine in carnivorous 
animals is never ecllulated, but is always cylindrical, and 
comparatively much smaller than in herbivorous animals. 
In the latter — and especially where the Stomach is simple, 
the large intestine is very capacious; and the ccecum 
( 346.) is particularly large; and the colon, throughout 
its whole length, is gathered into sacs or cells by longitu- 
dinal hands. In man the co-cum is large;, and the colon, 
as we have seen, (§340.) is saculated (fig. 33.) as in 
herhivorous animals. Indeed, the calibre or diameter 
of the whole alimentary canal, is relatively much greater 
in man than in carnivorous animals: and moreover, the 
numerous semilunar folds (§346.) in the mucous mem- 
brane of the small intestines of man (fig. 32.) very con- 
siderably increase the longitudinal extent of surface in 
the human alimentary canal. 

§842. We see then, that in regard to the true com- 
parative length, the capacity and the conformation of 
the alimentary canal, comparative anatomy affords not 
the slightest evidence that man is naturally, in any meas- 
ure, a carnivorous animal: and although in most respects, 


man very strongly resembles many of the species of 
herbivorous animals, yet, taking the masticating and di- 
gestive organs together, the evidence does not apjjear to 
be sufficiently complete and determinate to warrant the 
conclusion, that man is naturally an herbivorous animal. 
If, however, we were obliged to class man either with 
carnivorous or herbivorous animals from the evidence of 
his alimentary organs, we should be compelled, by all 
correct principles in the science of comparative anatomy, 
to place him with the latter. But before we are driven 
to this necessity, it must be ascertained that in the whole 
animal kingdom, there is no other order of animals 
besides the pure herbivora andcarnivora; — or none whose 
alimentary organs so nearly resemble those of the human 
body. But this is not true: — and therefore we are 
bound to look still farther- for alimentary organs with 
which we can compare those of man, before we come to 
a final conclusion in regard to man's natural dietetic 

§ 843. Is it said that no one claims man to be a purely 
carnivorous, but an omnivorous animal, and that his organi- 
zation shows him to be designed to feed on both animal 
and vegetable food? — Then let us ascertain whether there 
is any other animal in nature which is truly omnivorous, 
and if so, let us compare the alimentary organs of man 
with ihose of such an animal. We need not go far to 
find an animal of this description. Both the hog and the 
bear are naturally omnivorous: — that is, in a pure state 
of nature, when left to their natural instincts, they will 
eat both vegetable and animal food. It is important to 
remark however, that in a perfectly pure state of nature, 
when free to choose their aliment and with an abundance 
before them, they both, greatly prefer vegetable to animal 
substances, and neither of them, in such a state, ever 


graiiam's lectures on the 

preys upon living animals, unless urged by pinching 
hunger. Their most natural food therefore, appears to 
consist of fruits, nuts, roots, grain and other products of 
the vegetable kingdom. Yet, strictly speaking, they are 
omnivorous animals, and are organized accordingly. 

§ 844. Let us then compare the alimentary organs of 
man with those of the swine. (Fig. 58.) We perceive 

Fig. 58. 

The under jaw and teeth of a swine. 
at a glance, that there is little resemblance between the 
front teeth of the hog and those of the human head, 
(fig. 55.) and still less, between the eye teeth of man 
and the tusks of the hog. — The bicuspids, or small cheek 
teeth of the hog, are almost exactly like those of car- 
nivorous animals, but have not the most remote resem- 
blance to those of the human head. The molars, or large 
cheek teeth of the hog, on the other hand, have no 
resemblance to those of carnivorous animals, but are 
exceedingly like those of the human head. This com- 
parison therefore, does not in the smallest degree, 
show man to be naturally an omnivorous animal. The 
only teeth in the hog, which have any resemblance to 
human teeth, are the large cheek teeth, and these do not 
indicate a carnivorous, but a frugivorous character. The 


whole force of evidence derived from the masticatory- 
organs of the hog, therefore, goes to prove that man is 
in no measure, a flesh-eating animal. 

§845. The digestive organs of the hog more strongly 
resemble those of man, but when these are taken in 
connexion with the masticatory organs, which con- 
stitute the principal anatomical index of the dietetic 
character, — and also, in connexion with the fact, that in 
a pure state of nature, the hog prefers vegetable food, 
and principally subsists on it; and requires no animal 
food for the fullest and most perfect development and 
sustenance of its anatomical structure and physiological 
powers, the whole force of evidence still goes to prove 
that man is not naturally, in any measure, a flesh-eating 

§ 84G. We therefore, remain without a determinate 
solution to our question, and are called upon to push our 
investigations still further, in pursuit of more decided and 
conclusive evidence. And, fortunately for us, that evi- 
dence is near at hand; and just where we should exj)ect 
to find it; and where we ought first to have looked for 
it; and where we should first have looked for it, if our 
minds had neither been sophisticated nor misled by 
education, custom, and depravity. — In the order next 
below man, we find several species of animals whose 
alimentary organs in all respects very nearly resemble 
those of the human body: and in the species which comes 
nearest to man in general organization and appearance, 
the alimentary organs in almost every particular, so nearly 
ible those of the human body, that they are easily 
mistaken for them. And few, who are not in some 
measure acquainted with comparative anatomy, would 
be apt readily to detect the distinguishing differences. 
The number and order of the teeth, in the orang outang, 

GG graham's lectures on the 


the same as in man. The incisors or front teeth 

(fig. 59.) are precisely like those of the human head:— 

the cuspids or corner teeth 

Fig. 59. are relatively longer and more 

pointed and are separated 

from the other teeth hy small 

9 spaces; (§ 827.) and in all re- 

^'' ~ \v' ^ spects approach much more 

~^9$tl9M^yH ^^ to the appearance of the cus- 

' ' WnflMwiMitr" • -i 

■^■^iSS^Km pids of carnivorous animals 

than the corner teeth of man 

The first, or infant teeth of an do. The cheek teeth, like 

oranfi outanir. considerably re- .-, „ —.^l, ^^f-^w, 

, ,, "Y the incisors, so much resem- 

ducecl in the drawing. "" v ' 

ble those of the human head, 
that it is difficult to distinguish them. The only differ- 
ence is that, the elevations on the grinding surfaces of 
the orang outang's teeth are somewhat more prominent 
and pointed. The articulation of the under jaw, the 
form of the stomach, the comparative length of the ali- 
mentary canal, the relative capacity of the coecum and 
the cellular arrangement of the colon in the orang 
outang, all likewise correspond very closely with those 
of the human body. As a general statement however, 
the comparative length of the alimentary canal is some- 
what greater in man than in the orang outang. Except- 
ing then, that the cuspids are relatively longer and more 
pointed and separate, and the cheek teeth somewhat more 
trenchant, and the alimentary canal rather shorter in the 
orang outang than in man, the resemblance between the 
alimentary organs of these two species of animals is per- 

§ 847. In the other species of monkeys the cuspids 
are relatively longer and more pointed, and the cheek teeth 
more trenchant or sharp-pointed at the corners than in the 


orang outang. In the baboon the cuspids are large, 
long and powerful weapons of offence and defence, and 
in all respects resemble the corresponding teeth in purely- 
carnivorous animals. 

§ 848. In strictest accordance with the established 
principles in the science of comparative anatomy then, 
the alimentary organs of the orang outang are to be 
regarded as the true type (§ 823.) with which we are to 
compare those of the human body, in order to ascertain 
the natural dietetic character of man. But we have 
seen (§ 840.) that, in all that the organs of the orang differ 
from those of man, they bring the orang between man 
and carnivorous animals; and thus, as it were, push man 
still farther from a carnivorous character. (§ 823.) Yet 
it is well known that not only the orang outang, but all 
the other species of monkeys are, in a perfectly pure 
state of nature, when left free to choose their own nour- 
ishment and follow their undepraved instincts, wholly fru- 
givorous or fruit-eating animals, — subsisting exclusively 
on fruits, nuts and other esculent farinaceous vegetables. 
And they never, in such a state of nature, feed on animal 
food, except in circumstances in which even the cow and 
the sheep become carnivorous; viz. when suffering from 
extreme famine, and goaded on by excessive and tor- 
menting hunger. In such emergencies, monkeys, cows, 
sheep and probably most other animals will greedily 
devour such animal substances as fall in their way, or such 
as they are able to obtain.* 

* The inhabitants of Nantucket used to keep many sheep and cows 
upon the island without making any provision for them during the 
winter: and 1 have frequently been assured by many of the intelligent 
people of that island, that when the ground was covered with snow, 
it was a common thing for the cows and sheep to come into the town, 
and like swine, greedily devour every animal as well as vegetable sub- 


§ 849. But it is raid that the orang outang, on being 

domesticated or brought under the care of man, readily 
learns to cat animal too.!, and soon discovers more Jond- 
ness for it, and devours it more greedily than it docs any 
kind of vegetable (bod: and hence, it is inferred that this 
animal is naturally omnivorous, and confines itsell to 
fruits, &c. in a state of nature, only because it is unable to 
pro.ure animal food in a condition adapted to its organi- 
zation and alimentary wants. But this inference involves 
a monstrous absurdity : — for it assumes that Clod has 
constituted an animal with certain alimentary wants and 
endowed it with corresponding instincts, without giving it 
the necessary mental and voluntary powers to obey those 
instincts and supply those wants. Besides, if the fact 
that the orang outang readily learns to eat animal food, 
proves that animal to be naturally omnivorous, then the 
horse, cow, sheep, &c. are all naturally omnivorous 
animals: for every one of them is easily trained to eat 
animal food and to subsist on a mixed diet. Indeed, 
they readily become so accustomed to this artificial mode 
of living as greatly to prefer their prepared dishes of 
beef-steak, toast and coffee, to their own natural diet of 
grass or hay and water. " In Norway, as well as in 
some parts of Hadramant and the Coromandel coasts, the 
cattle are fed upon the refuse of fish, which fattens them 
rapidly, but seems at the same time totally to change 
their nature, and render them unmanageably fero- 
cious."* Horses have frequently been trained to eat 
animal food, so as to demand it with great eagerness and 
devour it greedily; and sheep have often been so accus- 

tance they could find in the streets,— even pulling up and consuming 
pieces of fish-skin and other animal substances which were trodden 
down and frozen into the ground. 

* Life of Reginald Ileber, Harpers' Family Library, No. 40. p. 360. 


tomed to animal food that they would wholly refuse to 
eat grass. By this dietetic change, the physiological 
condition of the digestive organs may be so affected, that 
if the animal be suddenly deprived of this diet and exclu- 
sively confined to its own natural and proper food and 
drink, it will at first droop exceedingly, and perhaps be- 
come sick, and in some instances die. 

§ 850. It is also true that the lion, the tiger and other 
carnivorous and predaceous animals may be trained to a 
vegetable diet, and learn to live on vegetable food alone: 
and it is an interesting fact, that if the young of these 
animals be taken before they have ever tasted flesh, and 
carefully trained to a vegetable diet till they are grown 
up, they will discover no desire for flesh-meat. — A friend 
of mine took a young kitten and carefully trained it to a 
vegetable diet. It did well and became a fine cat, 
remarkable for its strength and activity. When it was 
fully grown, flesh was put before it, but the cat would 
not touch it: and although the cat was an excellent 
mouser, yet it was never known to devour or eat any part 
of its prey; but, having killed the rats and mice which 
it caught, it would always bring them into the kitchen and 
lay them down at the feet of some member of the family 
and there leave them. By slow degrees however, this 
cat was trained to eat a portion of flesh with its dinner, 
and after a while appeared to relish it well: yet, if flesh 
was offered to it in the morning or evening, it would not 
touch it; and this cat continued to refuse flesh-meat at all 
other times except at its dinner. Since this experiment, 
several others have been made with similar results. In 
one instance, after the cat was grown up, it was occa- 
sionally fed with flesh, and was invariably made sick by it. 
§851. In this manner, all carnivorous animals, among 
beasts and birds, can be trained to a vegetable diet. And 

70 graham's lectures on THE 

it is worthy of remark that, this clasl of animals can be, 
broughi tosubsisl exclusively on vegetable food with lesi 
physiological inconvenience and greater safety to life and 
health, and much less deterioration of the constitution as 

a permanent effect, than herbivorous and frugivorous 
animals can be brought to live exclusively on animal 
food, llenee therefore, if the fact that theorang outang 
anrf other species of monkeys can be trained to subsist 
on a mixed diet of vegetable and animal food, prove! 
them to be naturally omnivorous, (§ 849.) then is it equal- 
ly proved that the lion, tiger, cat, eagle* and other pre- 
daceous animals; and the horse, cow, sheep and other 
herbivorous animals are all naturally omnivorous. .Hut 
no enlightened and honest, mind will for a moment admit 
that any of these animals are naturally omnivorous. 

•2. It is therefore, perfectly certain that the whole 
evidence of comparative anatomy, when correctly appre- 
hended and accurately estimated, t^oes to prove determin- 
ately that man is naturally a frugivorous animal. And 
thus it appears that the true evidence of comparative 
anatomy, and the ancient .Mosaic record of the natural 
history and dietetic character of man, perfectly agree. 
That record explicitly asserts that in the truly natural 
state of man, ere he had transgressed any of the laws of 
his nature, he subsisted, according to Divine adaptation 
and appointment, wholly upon the fruits of trees and the 
seeds of herbs, (§779. 780.) or upon fruits and farina- 
ceous vegetables. 

§ 853. For more than two years, I had, in my public 
lectures, presented the foregoing arguments in regard to 
the natural dietetic character of man, before I was aware 
that, similar views had been published by others; as my 

* The eagle has been trained to live entirely on vegetable food. 


own knowledge on the subject had been derived almost 
entirely from actual examinations in comparative anatomy, 
and from the oral information of living travellers. I have 
since however, in the course of my general researches, 
most unexpectedly and agreeably fallen upon the testi- 
mony of several distinguished men, which, so far as the 
evidence of comparative anatomy is considered, fully 
corroborates my reasonings and conclusions. The sum 
of that testimony, I shall therefore now present; — not 
because I think truth is rendered the more valuable by 
the adjunct of even the most distinguished of human 
names, but because I am fully aware of the deeply hu- 
miliating fact, that mankind generally, are far more ready 
to bow to the authority of a name than to yield to the 
evidence of truth. Before an individual has gained a moral 
sovereignty over the minds of his race, his evidence, 
however incontestible, and his reasoning however irref- 
ragable, are weighed and measured by the obscurity of 
his name; and he is sneered at as being contemptible in 
proportion as his opinions lack the authority of great 
oames. In this state of things, integrity, research, sci- 
ence, philosophy, fact, truth, are no shield against the 
misrepresentations and ridicule and abuse which are 
heaped upon him. But if, by any means, he can gain a 
conquest over men's minds, he may sit down upon the 
throne, and wield the sceptre of intellectual despotism; 
and then his word is law, to which mankind submit with 
zealous alacrity; as if each were emulous to be nearest 
to the chariot wheels of such a despot, in his triumphal 
progress, through the world: while few concern them- 
selves to inquire whether that word of authority is sus- 
tained by truth or not. Nevertheless, such are the 
scientific attainments, and the general knowledge and 
integrity of some men, that their opinion on subjects to 

72 graham's lectures on the 

which they have given great attention, is worthy of 
high consideration, and when such men are compelled 
hv the force of irresistible evidence, to come to conclu- 
sions and acknowledge principles which do not accord 
with their preferences, nor correspond with their prac- 
tices, the testimony merits a still higher respect. 

§ 854. Linnaeus, the distinguished naturalist, who flour- 
ished about one hundred years since, speaking of the 
natural dietetic character of man, says that his organiza- 
tion when compared with that of other animals, shows 
that " fruits and esculent vegetables constitute his most 
suitable food." 

§865. Sir Evcrard Home says, "While mankind 
remained in a state of innocence, there is every ground 
to believe that their only food was the produce of the 
vegetable kingdom." 

§850. Baron Cuvier, who is perhaps the highest hu- 
man authority on any question in comparative anatomy, 
says, " The natural food of man therefore, judging from 
his structure, appears to consist of fruits, roots and other 
succulent parts of vegetables: — and his hands offer him 
every facility for gathering them. His short and moder- 
ately strong jaws on the one hand, and his cuspidati 
being equal in length to the remaining teeth, and his 
tubercular molares on the other, would allow him neither 
to feed on grass nor devour flesh, were these aliments 
not previously prepared by cooking." 

§ 857. Professor Lawrence, of England, agrees fully 
with Baron Cuvier, and justly observes that, "physiolo- 
gists have usually represented that our species holds a 
middle rank in the masticatory and digestive apparatus, 
between carnivorous and herbivorous animals: a state- 
ment which seems rather to have been deduced from 
what we have learned by experience on this subject, than 


to have resulted fairly from an actual comparison of man 
and animals." — After having accurately compared the 
alimentary organs of man with those of carnivorous, her- 
bivorous and frugivorons animals, he correctly remarks 
that " the teeth of man have not the slightest resemblance 
to those of carnivorous animals, except that their enamel 
is confined to the external surface. (§828.) Repos- 
sesses indeed teeth called canine, but they do not ex- 
ceed the level of the others, and are obviously unsuited 
for the purposes which the corresponding teeth execute 
in carnivorous animals." — " Whether therefore, we con- 
sider the teeth and jaws or the immediate instruments of 
digestion, the human structure closely resembles that of 
the semiae or monkeys, all of which, in their natural state, 
are completely frugivorous." 

§ 85S. Mr. Thomas Bell, lecturer on the anatomy 
and diseases of the teeth, at Guy's Hospital, and surgeon 
dentist to that institution, in his "Physiological obser- 
vations on the natural food of man deduced from the 
character of the teeth," says, — "The opinion which I 
venture to give, has not been hastily formed, nor without 
what appeared to me sufficient grounds." — "It is not, I 
think, going too far to say that, every fact connected with 
human organization, goes to prove that man was origin- 
ally formed a frugivorous animal, and therefore probably 
tropica!, or nearly so, in his geographical situation. This 
opinion is principally derived from the formation of his 
teeth and digestive organs, as well as from the character 
of his skin and general structure of his limbs." — "If 
analogy be allowed to have any weight in me argu- 
ment, it is wholly on the side of the Question which £ 
have just taken. Those animals whose teetn and diges- 
tive apparatus most nearly resemble our own, namely, the 
apes and monkeys, are undoubtedly frugivorous." 
vol. ii. 7 

74 graham's lectures on the 

§859. With such conclusive evidence from compara- 
tive anatomy, and so full an acknowledgemnt from the 
most distinguished naturalists, anatomists and physiolo- 
gies, the question in rega d to the natural dietetic charac- 
ter of man, might reasonably be supposed to be fairly and 
fully settled: yet surprising as it may appear, even Baron 
Cuvier, after declaring that the evidence of comparative 
anatomy proves man to he naturally a frugivorous animal, 
ami that his masticator) organs would allow him neither 
to feed on grass nor devour llesh, were these aliments 
not previously prepared by cooking, adds that, "man 
once being possessed of fire, and those arts by which he 
is aided in seizing animals, or killing them at a distance, 
every living being was rendered subservient to his nour- 
ishment; — thereby giving him the means of an infinite 
multiplication of his species." — And Professor Law- 
rence, with a full admission of the completeness of the 
anatomical evidence in favor of man's frugivorous char- 
acter, and a frank acknowledgment that the general his- 
tory of the human race, proves that animal food is not 
necessary to render man strong and courageous; and that 
vegetable food is as little connected with weakness and 
cowardice, — that men can be perfectly nourished and 
their bodily and mental capabilities fully developed, in 
any climate, by a diet purely vegetable, still contends 
that man does quite as well, and perhaps better, on a 
mixed diet of vegetable and animal food; and occasion- 
ally indulges in a sneer against those who favor the idea 
that a pure vegetable diet is best adapted to sustain the 
human system in all its properties and powers. In 
attempting to sustain this opinion however, he misappre- 
hends many facts, perverts many others, assumes false 
positions, makes wrong inferences, arrives at erroneous 


conclusions, and not unfrequently, contradicts him- 

§ 860. Were it not for the well known truth, that the 
depraved appetites and propensities of man, continually 
exert such a perverting influence upon his intellectual and 

*Asa specimen of Mr. Lawrence's contradictory statements, take 
the following paragraphs selected from diff< rent pages of his work. 

" That animal food renders man strong and courageous, is fully dis- 
proved by the inhabitants of northern Europe and Asia, the Laplanders, 
Samoides, Ostiacs, Tungusees, Burats and Kamtschadales, as well as 
by the Esquimaux in the northern, and the natives of Terra del Fuego 
in the southern extremity of America, which are the smallest, weakest 
and least brave people on the globe, although they live almost entirely 
upon flesh, and that often raw. 

"Vegetable diet is as little connected with weakness and cowardice 
as that of animal matter is with physical fore." and courage. That men 
can I)!' perfectly nourished and their bodily and mental capabilities fully 
developed in any climate, by a diet purely vegetable, admits of abun- 
dant proof from experience. In the periods of their greatest simplicity, 
manliness and bravery, the Greeks and Romans appear to have lived 
almost entirely on plain vegetable preparations." 

" If the experience of every individual were not sufficient to convince 
him that the use of animal food is quite consistent with the greatest 
strength of body and mind, the truth of this point is proclaimed by the 
voice of all history. A few hundreds of Europeans hold in bondage the 
vegetable-eating millions of the East. — We see the carnivorous Romans 
winning their way from a beginning so inconsiderable that it is lost in the 
obscurity of fable, to the empire of the world," &c. 

Here we have it fust stated and proved, that flesh-eating is not con- 
ducive to strength and courage: and secondly, stated and proved that a 
vegetable diet does not make men weak and cowardly, but that vege- 
table-eaters may be brave and powerful and heroic. And in the third 
place, it is asserted that a few hundreds of Europeans, because they are 
flesh-eaters, are able to hold in bondage the millions of the East, 
because they are vegetable-eaters. And the Romans, who are exhibited 
as vegetable-eating heroes in the second paragraph, arc made to figure 
as carnivorous conquerors in the third. — But this is quite as consistent 
as the reasoning of any who attempt to prove the carnivorous character 
of man, from anatomy, physiology or experimental fact. 

76 graham's lectures on the 

moral powers, (§630.) as lead him, through the misap- 
prehension of facts, and unfair estimation of evidence, 
«nd fallacious conclusions, into the most egregious errors 
and absurdities, for the sake of defending and supporting 
those favorite opinions which are founded in sensual grati- 
fication, it would be exceedingly difficult to account for 
the many erroneous notions and absurd speculations which 
have b rtained by very intelligent men in regard 

to t!i3 natural history of the human species. 

§S61. Since the advocates for the omnivorous char- 
acter of man have found themselves compelled to ac- 
knowledge that the evidence of comparative anatomy is 
wholly and powerfully against them, they have mainly 
planted themselves on two positions. The one is the 
peculiar quality of the gastric secretion in man, or the 
solvent fluid of the human stomach, and the other is the 
peculiar intellectual and voluntary powers of man. 

§ S62. It is said that the stomach of every animal, 
secretes a solvent fluid possessing precisely the properties 
requisite for the digestion of the natural food of tlic 
animal, and wholly inefficient on other kinds of food. 
Thus we are told, that "the gastric juice of carnivorous 
animals readily digests flesh, hut will not digest vegetable 
substances; while on the other hand, the gastric juice of 
herbivorous animals readily digests grass and other vege- 
table substances, hut will not digest flesh; and therefore 
the gastric secretion, or solvent fluid of the stomach, 
fully and unequivocally determines the natural dietetic 
character of the animal. But the solvent fluid of the 
human stomach readily digests both animal and vegetable 
food, therefore man is naturally an omnivorous animal." 

§ S63. This position is so manifestly contrary to truth 
and fact that it would be unworthy of notice, had it not 
been advanced by men of considerable reputation in the 


scientific world, and reiterated by many who have much 
influence on the popular mind. Yet superficial and pre- 
posterous as it is, it is eagerly embraced by those who 
are determined, by any means and by all means possible, 
to defend those habits which they regard as necessary to 
their highest sensual enjoyment. 

§ 864. The truth is that, though every thing in nature 
is constituted upon fixed principles (§ 140. — 144.) and 
with determinate relations, yet in the organic world, every 
constitution has a considerable range or compass of 
physiological capabilities: — and although every organ in 
every animal has its determinate physiological character 
and precise constitutional adaptation, (§697.) yet every 
organ possesses a physiological adaptability by which it 
is capable, to a certain extent, of varying from its truly 
natural, constitutional adaptation, and still not so far 
impair its functional power and results as to interrupt the 
general vital economy of the system, or suddenly to 
destroy the vital constitution. Hence, whenever the 
physiological habits of the system are disturbed or its 
particular or general condition is affected, every vital 
organ always endeavors to adapt itself to the requisition 
of circumstances: and the power and extent of adapta- 
bility in eacli organ, and its efforts to adapt itself to the 
requisition of circumstances, always correspond with the 
functional character and relations of the organ, This 
being a wise and benevolent provision of the Creator for 
the preservation of life, and especially with reference to 
the alimentary wants of living bodies, while the digestive 
organs are constituted and endowed with the most perfect 
natural adaptation to certain kinds of aliment, (§734.) 
yet, to secure life as far as possible against emergencies, 
these organs possess the physiological capability of 
adapting themselves to an extensive variety of aliment- 

78 graham's lectures on the 

ary substances, as circumstances and necessities require: 

and therefore, the extent of the physiological adaptability 
of the digestive organs, is probably much greater than 
that of any other organs in the system. 

§8G-">. Possessing these physiological powers, the hu- 
man stomach, if it he regularly supplied with an exclu- 
sively vegetable diet, will soon become adapted to such 
a diet, and a solvent fluid most perfectly qualified 

for the digestion of it : and if the diet he suddenly changed 
to one of flesh-meat exclusively, the stomach will not be 
prepared to receive it, and will not at first be able to di- 
gest it, but it will cause vomiting and purging, and other 
symptoms of physiological disturbance. Yet ii the flesh 
diet be commenced by degrees, and regularly continued, 
the stomach will soon become adapted to it, and secrete 
a solvent fluid most perfectly qualified to digest it: and 
if the diet he again suddenly changed to an exclusively 
vegetahle one, similar disturbances will take place;— but 
if vegetable food be gradually introduced with the flesh- 
meat, the stomach will soon become adapted to a mixed 
diet and secrete a solvent fluid qualified to digest it. 

§ 8GG. Now if this physiological adaptability were pe- 
culiar to the human stomach, it would certainly go very 
far tow ards proving that man is naturally an omnivorous 
animal; but when we know that it is common to the horse, 
ox, sheep, (§849.) lion, tiger, cat, dog, (§ 850.) and 
indeed, to all the higher classes of animals, (§ 851.) and 
perhaps to the whole animal kingdom, we see that it 
proves nothing but the wonderful resources of animated 
nature, and the wisdom and benevolence of God. Both 
carnivorous and herbivorous, as well as frugivorous ani- 
mals generally, in the higher classes at least^ possess this 
scope and versatility of digestive power, nearly or quite as 
extensively as man; and therefore if it proves man to bo 


naturally omnivorous, it equally proves the lion and the 
ox, — the vulture and the lamb and other animals generally, 
to be naturally omnivorous. For, as we have seen, 
(§ 849.) even the sheep may become so accustomed to 
a flesh diet, that it will refuse its natural food: and if it 
be suddenly put upon its natural food, it will, at first, be 
unable to digest it. (§ 8G5.) 

§ S67. Let it be remembered however, as a very im- 
portant physiological truth, that, although the stomach 
generally, possesses the power of adapting itself to the 
alimentary substances with which it is regularly supplied, 
and can at one time, secrete a solvent fluid best qualified 
to digest animal food, and at another time, secrete a sol- 
vent fluid best qualified to digest vegetable food, accord- 
ing to the character of the diet; — and can also be trained 
to secrete a solvent fluid which will digest food composed 
of both vegetable and animal substances, yet neitner the 
human stomach, nor that of any other animal, is capable 
of secreting a solvent fluid which, at the same time, is 
equally well qualified to digest both vegetable and animal 
substances. That is, the solvent fluid of the stomach ac- 
customed to a mixed diet of the two substances, cannot 
digest flesh so well as the fluid of a stomach accustomed 
only to a flesh diet, nor vegetable substances so well as 
the fluid of a stomach accustomed only to a vegetable 
diet. Not even the stomach of the bear nor of the hog, 
which are as truly omnivorous animals as any in nature, 
can digest both vegetable and animal substances together 
at the same time, so well as it can digest each of them 
separately and at different times. 

§ S68. It is also true as a general physiological law, 
that where the stomach is accustomed to a mixed diet of 
vegetable and animal food, in proportion as animal food 
abounds and predominates in the diet, the power of the 

80 graham's lectures on the 

stomach to digest vegetable substances is diminished. 
Hence, among those portions of the human family that 
subsist on a mixed diet, children, before they become 
much accustomed to flesh-meat, will cat almost every 
variety of fruits and vegetables, with the greatest freedom 
and with little sensible inconvenience; but as they ad- 
vance in fife, and become accustomed to a free use of 
flesh-meat, and gradually increase its proportion in their 
diet, they 6nd themselves obliged to become more and 
more careful anil circumscribed in their use of fruits and 
other vegetable substances; till, they often become unable 
to partake of any vegetable matter except bread and 
perhaps boiled rice and potatoes, or some other simple 
farinaceous article. Yet after all this, these very indi- 
viduals, by an abandonment of flesh-meat and the adop- 
tion of a correct general regimen, may again return to 
their youthful enjoyment of fruits and vegetable substances 

§ 8G9. The position that man is rendered naturally om- 
nivorous by the possession of peculiar intellectual and 
voluntary powers, (§8G1.) is perhaps less obviously, but 
not less essentially erroneous and absurd, than the one 
just considered. (§ 862.) Man, we are told, is endowed 
with reason, and therefore he is not, like other animals, 
a mere creature of instinct; but he is capable of think- 
ing, reflecting, and judging, and of acting from the dictates 
of his judgment:— and consequently, what he finds defi- 
cient in the adaptations of nature to his wants, he makes 
up in the rational exercise of his voluntary powers. 
Hence, though, "judging from his structure, (§ 850.) his 
natural food appears to consist of fruits, roots, and other 
esculent parts of vegetables,— though neither the length 
nor the strength of his jaws fit him for subsisting on herbs, 
nor the character of his teeth for devouring flesh, were 


these aliments not previously prepared by cooking, yet 
being able, by the exercise of his rational and voluntary 
powers, to catch and kill animals, and to cook his food 
with fire, every living being is rendered subservient to 
his nourishment, — thereby giving him the means of an 
infinite multiplication of his species." 

§ 870. If the meaning of this language were simply 
a predication of the physiolcgical capability of man 
to adapt himself to a mixed diet of vegetable and 
animal food, or to derive nourishment f om almost 
every vegetable and animal sul stance in nature, the 
living demonstration of its truth from the flood to the 
present day, would render it unquestionable. But if it 
means to affirm that the rational and voluntary powers of 
man render him capable of adapting things to his physi- 
ological powers which are not naturally adapted to them, 
so as to make them as perfectly congenial to his nature 
as things naturally adapted, it is utterly erroneoi s, ; nd 
discovers a very superficial and limited knowledge of 
animal physiology. (§773.) 

§871. Let us test this principle in another application. 
The natural drink of man appears to be wa'.er, or the 
juices of fruits, as in a pure state of nature, he has no 
other beverage prepared for him. But, once acquainted 
with the arts of brewing and distilling, he is enabled to 
manufacture as much intoxicating liquor as he wants, and 
can drink and be merry when he chooses. Now it is 
perfectly obvious that this is only a statement of what is 
true in regard to the mental and voluntary power of man 
to manufacture intoxicating liquors, and in regard to his 
physiological power so far to adapt himself to the use of 
them as a beverage, as to be able to drink them pretty 
freely without destroying life, for many years. But to 
carry out the principle, we must go further and assert 

82 graiiam's lectures on the 

that, because man possesses these powers, he is set free 
from the law of instinct, which guides the lower animal 
to the pure fountain or stream of water to slake his thirst, 
and is made more godlike in the rational privilege of 
drinking a generous beverage which his own superior res* 
son as e ta »l d him to prepare for himself; and conse- 
quently, such a beverage is more congenial to his wants, 
a id b titer fitted to develop the best powers ofhis nature: 
and iii while the lower animals, from birth to death, 

from g sneration to generation, are bound by the law of 
i :1 to pure water as their natural drink, more god- 
. by his reason, to regale himself 
■ that he has the ingenuity and the 
y to devise and prepare. (§ G03.) 
72. This n'd undoubtedly be received 

with high acclaim as soundest logic and philosophy, 
if human beings whose rationality is per- 
! by the influence of depraved, sensual appetite. 
(§ G03.) But is it the true logic of sound physiology? — 
We know that it is not! — And yet it is quite as much so 

logic of those who endeavor to show that th 
son of man not only lifts him above the law of instinct 
lables him with impunity, and even with advantage 
to his whole nature, to transgress that law at pleasure. 
Sach philosophers ought to know that human reason is not 
substituted for animal instinct, but superadded to it, and 
established on the same constitutional laws, (§607.) — 
not for contrary, but for the same, and higher accordant 
purposes. And they may, with as much truth, deny the 
perfect harmony between the natural and moral attributes 
of the Deity himself, (§ G13.) as to deny the perfect 
correspondence between sound reason, and pure natu- 
ral instinct. (§771. — 773.) 

§ 873. No physiologist, I presume, will deny that the 


instincts of the lower animals are founded on the physio- 
log c;il v. ants of the body, and established in perfect 
accordance with all the physiological powers and interests 
of the organized system to which they belong, and with 
the most determinate regard to the highest well-being of 
the individual and the species: and therefore, the law of 
instinct is not only a safe rule of action to the brute 
animal, but a strict conformity to it is essential to his 
highest welfare; and all deviation from it must be in some 
measure detrimental to him. Hence, though the horse, 
ox, sheep and other herbivorous animals (§849) can, by 
tin exercise of the mental and voluntary powers of man, 
be trained to eat flesh and chew tobacco and drink ardent 
spirit, till they learn to love them, and greatly prefer 
them to their own natural diet, and feel dissatisfied and 
depressed and wretched without them, and languish and 
droop if they are suddenly withheld; and become so 
accustomed to them, and feel so dependent on them for 
comfort and enjoyment, that if they possessed the mental 
and the voluntary power, they would most certainly 
continue the use of them through life, and teach their 
progeny to do the same, yet in all that these habits differ 
from the pure, natural dietetic habits of those animals, 
and deviate from the law of undepraved instinct in them, 
they must be detrimental to th'c constitutional nature of 
those animals: — and none the less so, because the reason 
of man has been employed in creating and cherishing these 
habits: — nor would they be any the less so, if the rational 
and voluntary powers of man were superadded to the 
natural instincts of the brute and he should create and 
cherish them by the exercise of his own powers. But we 
have >ccn (§771.) that, as an animal, man is constituted 
with i he same physiological powers and upon the same 
great physiological principles as those which pertain to 

84 graham's lectures on the 

the constitutional nature of the horse, the ox and other 
animals; and that the faculties of instinct in man (§ 172.) 
are as determinate in their functional character, and 
established with as fixed and precise relations to the 
physiological wants and interest of his nature, as those of 
the lower animals are: and hence, in all that concerns 
the interests of organic life and animal existence, man is 
subject to the same general laws as those which govern 
the lower animals. 

§S7-1. Suppose a man and a horse to be standing 
together by a barrel of ardent spirit. The two animal 
bodies are constituted upon the same organic principles — 
have the same general tissue, (§ 15G.) which are endowed 
with the same vital properties and arranged into similar 
organs, which have the same elements of functional 
power (§ 312.) and the same physiological relation to the 
nature and qualities of the ardent spirit. The horse has 
not the reasoning power to devise, nor does he know 
that he possesses the voluntary power to execute any 
plan by which he can draw a quantity of that spirit from 
the barrel and drink it: — hut the man possesses both the 
rational and voluntary powers requisite for such a trans- 
action. Now can any truly rational being believe for a 
moment that, in such a case, the possession of reason by 
the man, or rather the possession of rational faculties, can 
so nullify the physiological law of relation between his 
organic system and the nature and properties of the 
ardent spirit, as that, if he drinks it, it will be less detri- 
mental to the functional powers of his organs, the vital 
properties of his tissues, and the general physiological 
interests of his system, than it would be to the horse? 
Yet this is a true illustration of the principle which they 
assume, who assert that man is naturally an omnivorous 
animal by virtue of his reason. 

§ S75. If man is not organized to eat flesh in its natural 


state, (§856.) and if flesh-meat is not congenial to the 
highest physiological interests of his nature, then no 
power of reason hy which he is enabled to prepare flesh- 
meat and get it into his stomach, can render it suitable 
food for him or make him naturally an omnivorous 
animal; nor yet can it make him artificially an omnivorous 
animal without detriment to all the physiological proper- 
ties, powers and interests of his nature. — The question 
is not simply what substances man can contrive to get 
into his stomach, and so adapt himself to them as to feel 
and believe they are very comfortable to him: but what 
substances are adapted to his stomach and other organs 
and to all the vital interests of his system. There are 
many substances in nature which man can, by artificial 
means, bring into such a condition as that he will be able 
to masticate and swallow them, but this is far from 
proving that all such substances may thereby be rendered 
subservient to the healthy nourishment and sustenance of 
his system. — In every thing that relates to the dietetic 
habits of man therefore, his reason must strictly accord 
with the pure law of his natural and undepraved instincts, 
or it is not true reason, but an erroneous exercise of his 
rational faculties; unless his deviation from that law be a 
case of necessity from the force of circumstances. For, 
as we have seen, (§735.) while man is created to be the 
lord of the earth and to occupy all portions of it — and 
is constituted with a wide range of adaptability to meet 
the exigencies of the circumstances and conditions in 
which he may be placed, yet it is always of necessity 
under this great and immutable law, that, in proportion as 
he turns aside from the truth of his natural and perfect 
constitutional adaptation, and educates himself, by virtue 
of his constitutional adaptability, to habits, circumstances 
and conditions, less adapted to the truth of his constitu- 
vol. ii. 8 

86 graham's lectures on the 

tional nature, lie impairs all tho powers of that nature, 
diminishes the general sum of his enjoyment, and abbre- 
viates the period of his earthly existence. (§773.) 

§876. We see therefore, 1. Thai the whole evidence 
of comparative anatomy goes to prove that man is 
naturally a frugivorous animal: (§852.) 2. that the 
physiological capability of man to subsist on a mixed diet 
and to derive nourishment from almost every substance 
in the vegetable and animal kingdoms, is not peculiar to 
man hut is common to all tin: higher classes of animals, 
and therefore affords no determinate evidence in relation 
to the natural dietetic character of man; and only proves 
the wonderful resources of animated nature and the 
wisdom and benevolence of God. (§860.) And 3. 
that human reason is not a substitute for animal instinct, 
but superadded to it, not to nullify, hut to sustain its 
laws nd to act in conformity with its pure dictates in 
supplying the alimentary wants of the body: and there- 
fore the rationality of man neither lifts him above the 
physiological laws and relations of his animal nature, nor 
enables him to transgress those laws with impunity: 
(§ 773.) and consequently, the rationality of man in no 
measure determines his natural dietetic character The 
evidence therefore, which remains to be considered, and 
by which the grand problem before us is to be conclusively 
solved, is purely physiological, and is derived from the 
comparative effects of vegetable and animal food in 
nourishing, developing and sustaining the human system 
in all its physiological and psychological properties, 
powers and interests. 

§ 877. .Notwithstanding the whole evidence of com- 
parative anatomy goes to prove that man is naturally in 
no measure a flesh-eating animal, (§ 852.) yet it is a 
notorious fact, that he can subsist almost entirely on 


animal food, (§ 7SS.) and that a considerable portion of 
the human family have partaken of it more or less freely 
ever since the flood: and so far as observation has been 
made, there appears to be about an equal measure of 
health, vigor and longevity among all the different portions 
of the race, whether they subsist exclusively upon vege- 
table or animal food, or upon a mixed diet of the two. 
(§ 15.) Hence, it is inferred that man has the physio- 
logical capability of subsisting, with equal benefit to his 
nature, upon either, or both kinds of aliment, according 
to the necessity or convenience of circumstances or 
situation: and therefore, it is asserted that the diet of 
man is to be determined by the climate in which he 
dwells: and that he will always find that food best for 
him which is most congenial to the climate, whether it 
be purely vegetable, as in the torrid zone, or purely ani- 
mal, as in the frigid zones, or a mixture of the two, as in 
the temperate zones. 

§878. But we have seen, (§ 867.) that this physiolo- 
gical capability is common to carnivorous, herbivorous, 
and frugivorous animals: and it is entirely certain that 
all these animals, if they were once accustomed to a 
mixed and artificially prepared diet, and endowed with 
sufficient mental and voluntary powers (§772.) to procure 
and prepare such a diet for themselves, would con- 
tinue such dietetic habits from generation to generation, 
till they would learn to consider such a diet as both nat- 
ural and necessary. Yet would all this aberration from 
nature, prove these animals to be naturally omnivorous? 
— Certainly not! — and as certainly the extensiveness and 
long continuance of omnivorous habits in man, do not, 
and cannot prove the human species to be naturally om- 

§ 879. It is however contended that, the fact of man's 

SS graham's lectures on the 

being so extensively— not to say universally omnivorous, 
proves thai he is instinctively led to eat flesh-meat when- 
ever he ran get it, and therefore, it is as truly his natural 
aliment as fruil is. But this shows how carelessly and 
superficially men observe facts, and with whal extreme 
looseness they reason on this important subject. Indeed, 
they almost alu aysfeel their way to their conclusions, rath- 
er than arrive at them by rigorously inductive reasoning, 
and consult their appetites more than they examine evi- 
dences. Tobacco is quite as extensively used by human 
beings as flesh-meat is; (§ 778.) and those who are accus- 
tomed to the use of it, would a thousand times sooner relin- 
quish their flesh-meat forever, than to abandon their tobac- 
co. Yet no one, I presume, will contend that this proves 
man to have a natural, instinctive desire or appetite for 
tobacco, and that tobacco was made for the use to which 
man has appropriated it. We know that man has natu- 
rally a deep and utter loathing of tobacco, and that he is 
obliged to overcome the most powerful antipathy of his 
nature in adapting himself to the use of it; but if every 
human being were trained to the use of tobacco so early in 
life and by such delicate and imperceptible degrees that we 
could not appreciate nor remember the first effects of it 
upon the system, it would be almost impossible for us to 
believe that man has not a natural, instinctive desire and 
necessity for it. 

. § 880. It is precisely so in regard to flesh-eating. All 
who have perfectly sanctified themselves from animal food, 
and restored their instinctive faculties of smell and taste 
to something of their native purity, well know that flesh- 
meat is most loathsome to them. And if any number of 
human children were born of vegetable-eating parents 
and nursed by vegetable-eating mothers, and at a proper 
age accustomed to a purely vegetable diet, and never 


permitted to smell animal food when cooking, nor to see 
others eat it, every one of them — if there were millions 
— would at first discover strong loathing if flesh-meat 
were given them for food, and they would spit it from 
their mouths with as much disgust as they would tobacco. 
But when children are born of flesh-eating parents and 
nursed by flesh-eating mothers, and are habituated from 
the hour of their birth, to the savor and the odor of 
animal food, in the nourishment which they derive from 
the mother's breast, — in the respiration and the perspira- 
tion of their parents and others around them, and in the 
fumes of the kitchen and the table, — and are accustomed 
to be fed with animal substances in their infancy, and to 
see their parents and others devour flesh-meat at almost 
every meal, they, as a matter of necessity, become de- 
praved in their natural instincts, and almost as a matter 
of necessity, discover an early fondness for animal food. 
So in the East, where every human being smokes, it is 
nearly a universal custom for nursing mothers, every few 
minutes, to take the pipe from their own mouths and put 
it into the mouths of their sucking infants. The neces- 
sary consequence is that all those children early discover 
the greatest fondness for the pipe, and seize, and suck it 
with excessive eagerness whenever it is presented to 
them; and they are exceedingly discontented and fretful 
and unhappy if it is withheld from them: and therefore, 
according to the logic of those who would prove man to 
be naturally omnivorous from his dietetic habits, it is 
natural and proper for those infants and for all human 
beings to smoke, chew, and snuff tobacco. 

§ 8S1. The truth is, as we have seen, (§771.) all ani- 
mal beings, including man, are constituted upon certain 
physiological principles, out of which grow certain physi- 
ological wants; and upon these wants are established 

90 graham's lectures on the 

certain faculties of instinct, with determinate relation to 
the nature and qualities of the appropriate supplies. 
(§ 700.) These faculties, while preserved in their integ- 
rity, are a law of truth to all; but they are capable of 
being depraved and rendered totally blind guides, which 
lead to the most pernicious errors. (§704. 707.) The 
lower animals have neither the mental nor the voluntary 
powers to deprave their natural instincts to any consid- 
erable extent, and therefore they remain, from birth to 
death and from generation to generation, subject to the 
law of instinct, and with little deviation from their truly 
natural dietetic habits. (§C08.) But man, possessing 
the mental and voluntary power to deprave his natural 
instincts, has exercised that power so freely and so 
extensively, that he no longer seems to be able to dis- 
criminate between his truly natural, and his depraved 
instincts and appetites, nor to distinguish bis artificial 
from his natural wants. — Let it be remembered however, 
that the whole range of physiological adaptation in man and 
other animals, admits of little variation from the great 
law of relation, in regard to the proportions of nutritious 
and innutritions matter, in the alimentary substances on 
which the animal subsists or to which the animal becomes 
adapted. (§749.) 

§882. As to the statement that the different portions 
of the human race appear to have enjoyed about an equal 
amount of health, vigor and longevity, whether their food 
has been purely vegetable, or purely animal or a mixture 
of the two, (§ 877.) let it be understood that, so far as we 
are informed, no considerable portion of the buman fam- 
ily ever intelligently adopted any particular mode of liv- 
ing, upon clear and well ascertained physiological princi- 
ples, and consistently and perse veringly, from generation 
to generation, adhered to a course of diet and general 


regimen, conformable to all the laws of life: but on the 
contrary, nearly every thing in the nature, condition and 
circumstances of man, from the first transgression to the 
present hour, has served to fix his attention continually 
on present enjoyment, (§32.) with no further regard to 
future consequences than experience has taught him to be 
necessary, in order to avoid sudden destruction or intoler- 
able distress; and hence, as we have seen, (§G49.) the 
grand experiment of the whole human family, seems ever 
to have been to ascertain how far they can go in indul- 
gence, — how near they can approach the brink of death, 
and yet not die so suddenly and violently as to be com- 
pelled to know that they have destroyed themselves. — 
Whether therefore, men have subsisted wholly on vege- 
table, or on animal food, or on a diet consisting of both, 
they have done so without any regard to correct physio- 
logical principles, either in relation to the quality, quantity, 
or condition of their food, — or in relation to other physi- 
ological wants and habits of the body, which are nearly as 
important to the general welfare of the system as the 
quality and condition of the food. If their climate and 
circumstances have been less favorable than others to 
heal tli, vigor and longevity, they have learned from ex- 
perience how far, as a general rule, they must restrain their 
indulgences, and in what manner they must regulate their 
habits and appetites, so as to secure life long enough for 
one generation to become the progenitors and nurturing 
protectors of another generation. (§653) And if their 
climate and circumstances have been more favorable than 
others to health, vigor and longevity, they have also learn- 
ed from experience, how far they may go in indulgence, 
and still keep within the bounds necessary for the per- 
petuation of the race. So that, in all cases, as a general 
rule, what they have wanted in natural advantages, they 

92 graham's lectures on the 

have made up in correctness of habits, and what they 
have possessed in natural advantage, they have squander- 
ed in erroneousness of habits. If their climate has been 
salu ary, they hare indulged the more freely in dietetic 
and other excesses. — If their food has been congenial to 
their nature, they have balanced, or counteracted its good 
effects by other things unfavorable to health and vigor 
and longevity: and, in this way, the whole human fami- 
ly, whether inhabiting frigid, torrid, or temperate zones, 
— whether dwelling on high mountains, or in lowvalleys, — 
whether residing in ceiled houses, or living in tents or in 
the open air, — whether subsisting on animal or vegetable 
food, or on a mixed diet of the two, — whether eating their 
food in its simplest and most natural state, or cooked and 
prepared in the most complicated manner, — whether 
confined to simple food and water, or indulging in every 
variety of condiments and stimulating and intoxicating 
liquors and substances, (§778.) — whether moderate or 
-ivc in quantities, — whether cleanly or filthy, — 
whether chaste or lewd, — whether gentle or truculent, — 
whether peaceful or warlike, have, in the great experi- 
ment to ascertain how much indulgence the human con- 
stitution is capable of sustaining without sudden destruc- 
tion, so balanced their good and evil as to preserve 
throughout the world and for many centuries, very nearly 
a general and uniform level in respect to health, vigor 
and longevity. — This statement however, is general and 
admits of many particular exceptions of individuals, and 
sects and societies and perhaps tribes; but these excep- 
tions in no case militate against its truth as a general 
statement, nor against any of the facts on which it is pred- 
icated: for these are all most indubitably true; and the 
general reasoning and induction from them are irrefraga- 
bly correct: and the whole is of so much importance to 


a correct understanding of the phenomena of human his- 
tory with reference to physiological principles, that it 
ought continually to be borne in mind as we proceed 
with our investigations on the subject before us; and espe- 
cially, in ascertaining and appreciating the physiological 
evidence of the natural dietetic character of man. 

§ 883. The fact then, that a large portion of the human 
family actually have, for many centuries, and probably ever 
since the flood, subsisted to a greater or less extent on ani- 
mal food, or on a mixed diet of vegetable and animal food, 
and apparently done as well as those who have subsisted 
wholly on vegetable diet, does not in any degree invalidate 
the evidence of comparative anatomy that man is natu- 
rally and purely a frugivorous animal. (§ 852.) 

§ 884. In entering upon the consideration of the purely 
physiological evidence in relation to the natural dietetic 
character of man, (§814.) it is necessary that we should 
clearly understand and keep in view those nice physiolo- 
gical principles by which the character and force of the 
evidence are to be determined. 

§ 885. We have seen that, the human body is formed 
from the common matter of the world, (§ 118.) brought 
into organic arrangement and structure by vital forces 
acting in and by living organs, (§121.) and that these 
organs are composed of several primary tissues which 
are endowed with certain vital properties, which con- 
stitute the elements of the functional power of the or- 
gans. (§ 312.) These properties of the primary tissues 
have a certain range of increase and diminution consist- 
ent with the continuance of vital control. By some 
means they are exhausted, — by others they are replen- 
ished. When these vital properties are healthfully 
increased, there is always a corresponding increase of 
function, power and activity in the organ or organs to 

94 graham's lectures on the 

which the tissues belong: and when they are diminished 
there is always a corresponding debility and sluggishness 
and languor of function. The action of all extrinsic 
laws and agents upon us, (§ 120.) tends to exhaust our 
vital properties; — and all our intrinsic actions and opera- 
tions — both voluntary and involuntary, have an exhaust* 
ing effect upon the acting organs. (§ 37G.) Even in the 
performance of those very functions which belong to the 
economy of nutrition, and which co-operate to replenish 
and repair the exhaustions and injuries of the system; 
each organ necessarily suffers some exhaustion of its 
\ital piopci lies and waste of its organized substance from 
its own particular action. (§(397.) Hence all our. organic 
operations from birth to death, simultaneously carry on 
the two greal processes of vital exhaustion and repletion 
— of organic composition and decomposition — of de- 
struction and renovation. (§314.) 

§886. Were the constitutional principles upon which 
this renovating capability of the vital economy depends, 
in themselves inexhaustible, then were these bodies of 
ours, even in the present state of being, capable of im- 
mortality:— and by strictly obeying the laws of life, we 
might live on forever, in the eternal ebb and flow of 
vital energy, and the unceasing incorporation and elim- 
ination of matter! But this is not so. The vital constitu- 
tion itself wears out!— The ultimate powers of the living 
organs, on which their replenishing and renovating capa- 
bilities depend, are, under the most favorable circum- 
stances, gradually expended and finally exhausted. (§133.) 

§887. Though the vital energies and sensibilities, 
therefore, which we exhaust to-day, are replenished to- 
morrow, yet of necessity, the process has taken something 
from the measured fund of life, and reduced our vital capi- 
tal in proportion to the frugality or the profligacy of our 


expenditure. — However proper the nature and condition 
of our aliment, — however completely all our laws of exter- 
nal relation are fulfilled, — however perfectly the functions 
of our organs are performed, and however salutary then- 
results, yet, every digestive process of the stomach, — 
every respiratory action of the lungs, — every contraction 
of the heart, draws something from the ultimate and un- 
replenishable resources of organic vitality: (§G97.) and 
consequently the more freely and prodigally we expend 
the vital properties of our organs, the more rapidly we 
wear out the constitutional powers of replenishment, and 
exhaust the limited stock of life. (§885.) Nothing can 
therefore, be more dangerously fallacious than the opin- 
ion which is too generally cherished and too frequently 
promulgated, that, our daily trespasses upon the laws of 
life, are as the dropping of water upon a rock — wearing 
indeed, but so slowly and imperceptibly, as scarce to 
make a difference in the duration and in the comfort of 
our lives. 

§ 888. In explaining and illustrating the constitutional 
laws of external relation, I stated (§ 707.) that every sub- 
stance in nature, from which the human body can derive 
nourishment, possesses specific and peculiar qualities, 
which the human organs have vital powers to perceive 
and appreciate. (§ 736.) Thus the visual properties of 
things, are perceived by the special sense of sight, (§ 566.) 
the auditory properties, by the special sense of hearing, 
(§ 252.) the olfactory properties by the special sense of 
smell, (§701.) the gustatory properties by the special 
sense of taste, (§ 707.) and the tangible properties by 
the special sense of touch. (§ 253.) These external sub- 
stances have also certain other properties, which are only 
perceived and appreciated by the special organic senses, 
(§ 296.) residing in the organs belonging to the domain 

96 graham's lectures on the 

of organic life, or the ganglionic system of nerves. 
(§ 223.) These properties, in all proper alimentary sub- 
stances, are the natural and appropriate stimuli of those 
nerves of organic sensibility, (§ 280.) which are adapted 
by the Creator to perceive and appreciate them, and to 
convey the impressions received from them, to the special 
centre which presides over the functions of the particular 
organ or apparatus. (§219.) But we have seen (§743.) 
that, some alimentary substances are much more stimulat- 
ing than others, in proportion to the quantity of nourish- 
ment which they actual]) afford the system, and that 
soiih 1 substances in nature arc purely stimulating without 
affording any nourishment. (§745.) 

§ 889. The stimulation produced by these various 
substances, is always necessarily exhausting to the vital 
properties of the tissues on which they act, just in pro- 
portion to its degree and duration: — and every stimulus 
impairs the vital susceptibilities and powers, just in pro- 
portion as it is unfitted for the real wants of the vital econ- 
omy and unfriendly to the vital interests. 

§ 890. Rut whatever may be the real character of the 
stimulus, every stimulation to which the system is accus- 
tomed, increases, according to the power and extent of 
its influence, what is called the tone and the action of the 
parts on which it is exerted, and while the stimula- 

strength and vigor in the SYSTEM, whether any 
nourishment be imparted to the system or not. 

§ 891. Yet by so much as the stimulation exceeds in 
degree, that which is necessary for the full and healthy 
performance of the function or functions of the organs 
stimulated, by so much the more does the expenditure of 
vital power and waste of organized substance, exceed for 
the time, the replenishing and renovating economy of the 


system; (§ 512.) and consequently, the exhaustion and 
indirect debility which succeed the stimulation, are al- 
ways necessarily commensurate with the excess. (§745.) 

§ 892. Hence, though that food which contains the 
greatest proportion of stimulating power to its quantity of 
nourishment, causes, while its stimulation continues, a 
feeling of the greatest strength and vigor, it also necessa- 
rily produces the greatest exhaustion in the end, which 
is commensurately importunate and vehement in its de- 
mands for relief, by the repetition of the accustomed stim- 
ulus; and, as the same food more readily than any other, 
affords the demanded relief, by supplying the requisite 
degree of stimulation, our feelings always lead us to 
believe that it is really the most strengthening. 

§ 893. Hence, whenever a less stimulating diet is sub- 
stituted for a more stimulating one, a corresponding phys- 
iological depression, or want of tone and action, always 
necessarily succeeds, varying in degree and duration, ac- 
cording to the general condition of the system, and the 
suddenness and greatness of the change: and this depres- 
sion is always attended by a feeling of weakness and las- 
situde, which is immediately removed, and the feeling of 
strength and vigor restored, by the accustomed degree of 
stimulation, by whatever produced, whether any increase 
of nourishment is actually afforded to the system or not. 

§ 894. The pure stimulants therefore, (§ 743.) which 
of themselves afford no nourishment to the system, and 
only serve to increase the expenditure of vital properties 
and waste of organized substance, by increasing vital action, 
(§ 745.) cause, while their stimulation lasts, a sense of in- 
creased strength and vigor: — -and thus, we are led by our 
feelings, to believe that the pure stimulants are really 
strengthening: — and in the same manner we are deceived 
by even those pernicious stimulants which not only ex.* 

VOL. II. 9 

93 graiiam's lectures on Tirr. 

haust by stimulation, but irritate, debilitate and impair, 
by their deleterious qualities. (§ 77S.) 

§895. The feeling of strength produced by stimulation 
therefore, is no proof, either that the stimulating sub- 
stance is noiiiisliii g or that it is salutary, nor even that 
it is not decidedly baneful. 

§ 696. But we have seen (§ 745.) that, those proper 
alimentary substances whose stimulating power is barely 
sufficient to excite a full and healthy performance of the 
functions of the digestive organs, in the appropriation of 
their nourishment to the system, are most conducive to 
the vital welfare of the body, in all respects, — causingall 
the processes of assimilation and organization to be most 
; ctly performed, without any unnecessary expenditure 
of vital power, (§885.) and thus contributing to the most 
| menl and uniform health and vigor of the body, and 

to the greatesl longevity. For every degree of stimu- 
lating power beyond this, necessarily increases the vital 
exhaustion without contributing in any measure to the 
welfare of the body. 

§ 897. With a true application of these well ascertain- 
ed principles, the physiological evidence in relation to the 
I al dietetic character of man, may be correctly appre- 
hended and accurately estimated: — yet the utmost cau- 
tion, (§ 776.) and perspicacity and circumspection are 
requisite at every step, to avoid deception and error in 
the mazy and delusive paths of human experience and his- 

§ S98. It is generally, and perhaps universally believed 
by those portions of the human family which subsist on 
animal food, either wholly or in part, that man requires a 
more 'nourishing and invigorating aliment than can he 
derived frcm the vegetable kingdom, and therefore, that 
without the use of animal food, his body cannot be proper- 


ly nourished and sustained. " An entire abstinence from 
flesh," says Buffon, (§811.) " can have no effect but 
to enfeeble nature. If man were obliged to abstain to- 
tally from it, he would not — at least in our climates, either 
multiply or exist;" — and this is but the declaration of the 
common sentiment of flesh-eaters. But a correct exam- 
ination of the subject will show that this position is a mere 
assumption in the face of facts, and as utterly destitute of 
any foundation in truth, as are the anatomical reasonings 
from the fancied resemblance of the human teeth and diges- 
tive organs to those of carnivorous animals. 

§ 899. It is indeed, surprising that observing and re- 
flecting minds, even long before the experiments of sci- 
ence had afforded demonstrations of the truth, did not 
detect and proclaim the error of the common notion, that 
flesh-meat is a more nutritious aliment for man than the 
best vegetable food. A proper attention to the history 
of the human race, might long ago have convinced the 
world of the inaccuracy of such an opinion. But unfor- 
tunately for man, he learns but little from experience, 
either in his individual or aggregate capacity; and Wis- 
dom, though she meets him in ten thousand forms, and 
seeks to win him in ten thousand ways, is left unheeded 
by him, because his attention is so continually and com- 
pletely engrossed in the present feeling and impulse, and 
in the pursuit of the most immediate gratification. 

§ 900. From the careful investigations of some of the 
ablest and most accurate chemists of the present age, it 
appears that the various kinds of flesh-meat average about 
thirty-five per cent, of nutritious matter, while rice, wheat 
and several kinds of pulse, such as lentils, peas and 
beans, afford from eighty to ninety-five f^r cent. — And 
even potatoes, which, by some writers on human diet, 
have been denounced as too crude and innutritious for 

100 graham's lectures on the 

the aliment of man, afford twenty-five per cent, of nutri- 
tious matter. So that, according to these r< suits, a 
single pound of rice, absolutely contains more nutritious 
matter than two pounds and a half of the best butchers' 
meat: and three pounds of good wheat bread contain more 
than six pounds of flesh: and three pounds of potatoes, 
more than two pounds of flesh. 

§ 901. Incredible as this may at first appear, to those 
who have given but little attention to the subject, yet a 
i eferenceto facts in the history of the human species, will 
abundantly prove the correctness of what is here staled. 
According to the united testimony of all the ancient writ- 
ers who have spoken of the primitive generations of man- 
kind, the first of the species, as we have seen, (§779.) 
subsisted entirely upon vegetable food, in the plainest, 
simplest and most natural forms. 

§ 902. Farinaceous seeds contain a greater proportion 
of nutritious matter, than any other kind of natural ali- 
ment: and it is more than probable that these, and other 
farinaceous vegetables in some form or other, have in all 
of the world, constituted " the staff of life" to the 
greater part of the human race, and that this kind of food 
mainly constituted the healthful and invigorating diet, not 
only of the antediluvians, but also of those who have oc- 
cupied that period in the history of every nation, which all 
their earliest writers call the golden age. (§ 648.) 

§ 903. Different opinions have been entertained in 
regard to the dietetic use of flesh in the latter part of the 
antediluvian period. The enormous wickedness and 
atrocious violence and outrages of mankind immediately 
preceding the flood, strongly indicate, if they do not 
prove an excessive indulgence in animal food. The fact 
also, seems to be implied in the Divine annunciation to 
Noah after the flood, that every living thing that raoveth, 


as well as the green herb, is constituted to afford nourish" 
ment to the human body; and is strongly evinced by die 
great and somewhat sudden abridgement of the period of 
human existence after the deluge. It appears to be very 
certain however, that if such was the fact, the custom was 
a very great innovation on the early habits of the antedi- 
luvians, and that it had not long prevailed, before the ter- 
rible catastrophe of that period. Still it does not appear 
from the Mosaic record that Noah received any Divine 
" permission" to eat flesh, before the deluge: — for in the 
sixth chapter of Genesis we find him instructed, to gath- 
er, and take with him into the ark, of all food that was 
eaten, which should be for food for him, and for all the 
animals with him. — Nor is there any historical evidence 
that animal food came into general, and common and fre- 
quent use, until many centuries after the flood. 

§ 904. During the days of Abraham, flesh seems to 
have been eaten only on special occasions; such as some 
of their religious and social feasts, and when strangers 
were entertained as guests. The same general custom 
continued down even to the time of the bondage of the 
Hebrews in Egypt; and during their long and severe 
.servitude there, it appears that they subsisted mostly on 
the products of the vegetable kingdom; as indeed the 
inhabitants of that country have ever done, even to the 
present day. Coarse bread with cucumbers, melons, 
leeks, garlics, onions, and other vegetables constituted 
the principal part of their diet; and with these — more 
however as a condiment than as an aliment, they con- 
sumed perhaps, occasionally, a small quantity of fish; 
and on particular occasions, they indulged in flesh-meat. 
During their extremely tedious and winding journey 
through the wilderness, in which they were forty years 
in getting into a place which lies but about three hundred 

102 graiiam's lectures on the 

miles from Egypt, they subsisted entirety on vegetable 
food, except that they were a yery few limes suffered 
to indulge in flesh. For, their manna appears to have 

been — if not real vegetable structure, at leasl ol the 
nature of vegetable substance; and it seems to have 
become dry and hard; for " the people went out and 
gathered it and ground it in mills, and beat it in mortars, 
and baked it in pans and made cakes of it." And 
after the conquest and possession of the " Promised 
Laud," and the lull establishment of the nation in Pales- 
tine — excepting the more luxurious and voluptuous kw, 
the Jews ate hut little animal food, and that principally 
on the occasion of their religious and social feasts and 
special hospitalities. In the reign of Saul their first 
king, we find Jesse, who was the owner of probably 
extensive /locks and herds, sending his son David, not 
v, ith beef and mutton, but " with parched corn and loaves 
of bread to his sons in the army and with cheeses to 
the captains of thousands." 

§ 905. It has been supposed by some that the Jews 
and other nomadic or shepherd tribes, who possessed 
extensive flocks and herds, must have made a free use of 
the flesh of their sheep and other animals, in their ordi- 
nary diet; because, say they, no other sufficient reason 
can be perceived why they should possess themselves of 
such property, and be so anxious to increase it. But it 
should be remembered that, besides the tendency of their 
religious institutions to lead them to cultivate such pos- 
sessions, this species of property constituted their 
wealth, and gave them respectability and influence in their 
tribe or nation, the same as do many acres of land, or 
many slaves, or ships, or much merchandize or money, 
the husbandman, or planter, or merchant, or banker; and 


hence, the extensiveness of their flocks and herds, was a 
source of ambition and pride and satisfaction to them. 

§ 90G. This same state of things is found even at the 
present day, among the nomadic or shepherd tribes in 
Asia and Africa, and in fact, in all parts of the world. 
The enterprising Landers inform us that in their late 
expedition in Africa, they found tribes " who possessed 
abundance of bullocks, pigs, goats, sheep and poultry, 
but they preferred vegetable food to animal: — notwith- 
standing which, their animals were always held exceed- 
ingly dear, because the owners took pride in displaying 
the number and quality of them." (§ 1042.) 

§ 907. It is well known that from the earliest period 
of their history, the people of India generally, and par- 
ticularly the Hindoos, who constitute a considerable por- 
tion of the human family, have subsisted mainly on 
vegetable food, making rice the principal article of their 
diet. — And indeed the greater part of the inhabitants of 
Asia and Africa, have in all ages, derived nearly all of their 
sustenance immediately from the vegetable kingdom. 
il Children of the sun!" said one of the ancient and 
distinguished priests of India, " listen to the dying advice 
of your faithful and affectionate instructer who hastens to 
the bosom of the great Allah, to give an account, and 
to enjoy the expected rewards of his services. Your 
regimen ought to be simple and inartificial. Drink only 
the pure, simple water! Jt is the beverage of nature, 
and not by any means, nor in any way to be improved by 
art ! — Eat only fruits and vegetables! — Let the predaceous 
animals prey on carnage and blood! — Stain not the divine 
gentleness of your natures, by one spark of cruelty to 
the creatures beneath you! — Heaven, to protect them, 
hath placed you at their head! — Be not treacherous to 
the important trust you hold, by murdering those you 

104 gr.uia.m's lectures on the 

ought to preserve! — nor defile your bodies by filling them 
with putrefaction!— There is enough of vegetables and 
fruits to supply your appetites, without oppressing them 
by carrion or drenching them in blood!" 

§ ( .i0^. Many parts of Asia are far too densely 
populated to admit of any considerable indulgence in 
animal food: — for it is a wed ascertained truth, that the 
use of animal food diminishes the alimentary resources 
of the human family, in all densely populated countries. 
It has been estimated by some writers on political econ- 
omy, that the soil which is necessary to raise animals 
enough to supply the alimentary wants of one man who 
Bobsists wholly on animal food, will produce vegetable 
substance enough to sustain sixteen men who subsist 
wholly on vegetable food. Hence in China, where the 
population is so dense as to form almost a crowded con- 
gregation of hundreds of millions of human beings, 
(§ 1039.) the nourishment of the people is of neces- 
sity, derived immediately from the soil, which is 
made to produce two crops of rice annually, to meet 
the alimentary wants of its cultivators,* and the small 
portion of animal lood which they derive from domes- 
ticated animals, such as hogs, cats, dogs, &c. fed on 
the offals of the house, is nothing more than a mere 
condiment to their rice and other vegetable sub- 
stances. And then again, on the other hand, it is because 
the soil of China is capable of being made to produce two 
crops annually, of one of the most nutritious vegetables 
in the world, that it is able to sustain such a population. 
It is therefore, only in those countries where the popula- 
tion is small in proportion to the extent of soil, that the 
inhabitants can indulge freely in the dietetic; use of flesh, 

*The population of China in 1812 was 361,279,697: making an 
average of 278 individuals to the square mile, throughout the eoipire. 


unless they are a commercial people and derive their sup- 
plies of animal food from other countries. 

§ 909. The early inhabitants of Greece and Rome, 
and of Europe generally, subsisted almost entirely on vege- 
table food. The Spartan simplicity of diet, was by no 
means peculiar to Sparta nor to Greece. " The Romans 
encouraged the use of vegetable diet, not only by the 
private example and precepts of many of their great 
men, but also by their public laws concerning food, which 
allowed but very little flesh, but permitted without lim- 
itation all kinds of food gathered from the earth, from 
shrubs and from trees." 

§ 910. Plutarch, a man of great learning and exten- 
sive research, who flourished long after the stern sim- 
plicity of Roman virtue had passed away, — long after 
ihe foundations, of the Roman Empire had begun to 
crumble under the influence of luxury and excess, 
thus expresses himself on the subject of human diet: " I 
think it were better to accustom ourselves from our youth 
to such temperance as not to require any flesh-meat at 
all. Does not the earth yield abundance, not only for 
nourishment, but for luxury! some of which may be 
eaten as nature has produced it, and some dressed 
and made palatable a thousand ways." 

911. The inhabitants of modern Europe, even at the 
pr< sent day, to a very great extent, subsist on the im- 
mediate products of the vegetable kingdom. — The peas- 
antry of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Germany, 
Turkey, Gteece, ftaly, Switzerland, France, Spain, 
Portugal, England, Scotland, Ireland; and a considera- 
ble portion of Russia, and most other parts of modern 
Europe, subsist mainly, and many of them entirely on 
I ile food: — The peasantry and laboring people of 
e, subsist on coarse brown bread made of 

106 graham's lectures on the 

unbolted meal, and on different kinds of fruits, which they 
eat with their bread: ;\nd thej are remarkably vigorous 

and active and cheerful. " In all the world," says a 
recent traveller in Italy, " there is not to be found a more 
lively, mercurial population, than the iazzaroni and 
laborers of Naples, whose diet is of the simplest kind, 
consisting mainly of bread, macaroni, (a vegetable dish,) 
or potatoes, and the fruits of the season, including a 
large supply of watermelons for their greatest luxury, 
with water for their drink. They are generally tall, 
stout, well formed, robust and active men." — The peas- 
antry in many parts of Russia, live on very coarse bread 
with garlics and other vegetable aliment; and like the 
same class in Greece, Italy, and other parts of Europe, 
they arc obliged to be extremely frugal even in this kind 
of food, yet they are very he.iliby, vigorous and active. 
Many of the inhabitants of Germany live mainly on rye 
and barley, and mostly in the form of coarse bread. 
The Swiss peasantry subsist in much the same manner: 
and a very similar diet sustains the same class of people 
in .Sweden, Poland, Spain, Portugal and many parts of 
France. In the last three named countries however, 
fruit is more abundantly used than in the others; but in 
all these countries, the people who live in this manner, 
and refrain from the use of alcoholic and narcotic drinks 
and substances, are well nourished, healthy, robust, 
active and cheerful. 

§912. The potato, as is well known, is the principal 
article in the diet of the Irish peasantry; and few por- 
tions of the human family are more healthy, robust, 
athletic and active, than they arc, when uncontaminated 
by intoxicating substances, both alcoholic and narcotic. 
But alcohol, either in the form of distilled or fermented 
liquors, and tobacco, opium, coffee, and tea, have extend- 


ed their blighting influence, as we have seen, (§778.) 
Over the greater portion of the human world: — and no- 
where do these scourges of mankind, more cruelly afflict 
the self-devoted race, than in the cottages and hovels of 
the poor.—-" I would sooner live on two beans a day than 
do without my snuff," exclaimed an aged female mendi- 
cant, to a gentleman who expostulated with her for in- 
dulging in the vile practice of thrusting powdered tobacco 
up her nose, even when in the the act of asking alms! — 
"O! it does me good! — I could not live without it!" said 
she: — and doubtless she sincerely felt that what she said 
was true. — And this is but the miniature resemblance of 
a large portion of the human species. — And when by 
these indulgences, and the consequent neglect of clean- 
liness (§ 8S2.) and other means of health, they generate a 
variety of chronic diseases, and sometimes extensive epi- 
demics, we are told, even by professional men of charac- 
ter, that all these evils arise from their poor, meagre, low, 
vegetable diet. — Yet whenever these different species of 
intoxicating substances are avoided, and a decent degree 
of cleanliness observed, the vegetable diet is not thus 

§ 913. That portion of the peasantry of England and 
Scotland, who subsist on their barley and oatmeal bread 
and porridge, and on potatoes and other vegetables, with 
temperate and cleanly habits, are healthy and robust and 
active, and able to endure more fatigue and exposure 
than any other class of people in the same countries. 

§914. In short, from two thirds to three fourths of 
the whole human family, in all periods of time, from the 
creation of the species to the present moment, have sub- 
sisted entirely, or nearly so, on vegetable food; and 
always, when their alimentary supplies of this kind have 
been abundant and of a good quality, and their habits 

109 graham's lectures on the 

have been in other respects correct, they have been well 
nourished, and well sustained in all the physiological 
interests of their nature. 

§915. But if one pound of good bread absolutely 
contains more nutritious matter than two pounds of flesh- 
meat, (§900.) why is it that those who are accustomed 
to animal food, immediately droop and feel weak and 
languid when flesh-meat is wholly withheld from them? 
and why is their usual vigor restored when they return to 
their customary diet? 

§916. It is now well ascertained and universally ac- 
knowledged by. those who are properly informed on the 
subject, that flesh-meat is far more stimulating or exciting 
in proportion to the quantity of nourishment which it 
actually affords the human body, than proper vegetable 
food is: — and we have seen (§890.) that whatever be 
the real character of the stimulating substance, every 
stimulation to which the system is accustomed, increases, 
according to the power and extent of its influence, what 
is called the tone and action of the parts on which it is 
exerted, and the whole domain of organic life being inti- 
mately united by a common and universal sympathy 
(§225.) is correspondency affected; and hence, while 
the stimulation lasts, it always inc -eases the feeling of 
strength and general vigor in the system, whether any 
nourishment be imparted or not. By so much therefore 
as flesh-meat is more stimulating than vegetable food, it 
gives to those who are accustomed to it, a feeling of" 
greater strength and vigor: and as it is a law of the vital 
economy (§893.) that whenever a less stimulating diet 
is substituted for a more stimulating one, a corresponding 
physiological depression, attended with a feeling of weak- 
ness and lassitude, always succeeds,— and as this physio- 
logical depression is promptly removed, and a feeling of 


strength and vigor restored by a return to the customary 
stimulus, (§ S92.) those who are accustomed to animal 
food, and have only made temporary experiments of 
abstinence from it, have always found that, when they 
abstain wholly from flesh-meat, they feel weaker and less 
energetic, and when they return to it, they feel stronger 
and more vigorous and active: and hence, they have in- 
ferred that, animal food is much more nourishing and 
strengthening than pure vegetable food is. 

§ 917. But if this kind of experience proves animal 
food to be more nourishing and strengthening than vege- 
table food, then it also proves that, the pure stimulants 
which actually afford no nourishment to the system, are 
really invigorating to the body: (§ 894.) for, every one 
who is accustomed to the use of the pure stimulants, 
always experiences a physiological depression and feeling 
of debility and lassitude from the sudden disuse of them, 
commensurate with the degree to which the system had 
been affected by them, or made dependent on them for 
tone and action; and this depression is instantly removed 
and the feeling of strength restored by a return to the use 
of the accustomed stimulants. Hence all who habitually 
use the pure stimulants, and especially the diffusable 
stimulants, such as the alcoholic, fully and sincerely be- 
lieve that their bodies are invigorated and rendered 
stronger, and capable of more effort and endurance, by 
the use of such stimulants. 

§913. it is true however, that as the pure stimulants 
afford no nourishment to the sj r stem, and flesh-meat nour- 
ishes while it stimulates, tin 1 physiological depression and 
general emaciation and debility experienced from a sudden 
abandonment of the latter, though less violent and dis- 
tressing at first, are generally of greater duration, and 

VOL. II. 10 

110 Graham's lectures on the 

sometimes even more dangerous to life than from a sud- 
den abandonment of the former. 

§919. But as flesh-meat is more stimulating to the 
system in proportion to the nourishment which it affords, 
than pure vegetable aliment is, (§ 91G.) so all the pro- 
cesses of assimilation and nutrition in the use of the 
former, are more rapid, and attended with a greater expen- 
diture of vital power and waste of organized substance, 
than in the use of the latter. (§ 8S9.) — The flesh-meal 
in the stomach, the chyme formed from it, in the alir 
mentary cavity, the chyle in the lacteals, the blood in the 
heart, arteries, veins and capillaries, and all the fluids and 
substances elaborated from the blood, are more exciting 
to the parts on which they severally act, and cause a 
greater intensity and rapidity of vital action and expendi- 
ture in the whole system than is effected by alimentation, 
digestion and nutrition in the use of pure and proper 
vegetable food.* (§1001.) And hence the well known 
fact, that in the most healthy and robust men who have 
been accustomed to a pure vegetable and water diet from 
infancy, the skin is uniformly much cooler and the pulse 
is slower from ten to thirty beats in a minute, than in 
those who subsist on a mixed diet, in the ordinary manner 
of civic life. (§ 486.) 

§ 920. As flesh-meat passes more rapidly through all 
the processes of assimilation than most kinds of vegetable 
food, (§ 919.) it is generally supposed to be more easily 
digested; and consequently the most suitable food for the 
dyspeptic and those of feeble digestive powers: and hence 
it has been a prevailing practice among physicians, to 
prescribe for such persons, a diet consisting mostly of 

* The feverish excitement attending the digestion of flesh-meat has 
been called by medical writers, " the fever of digestion." 


flesh-meat. But this is contemplating the assimilating 
functions of the living body as purely chemical, and the 
stomach and other organs as mere lifeless vessels which 
have no direct agency in the processes effected in the 
substances which they contain: (§ 435.) and therefore, 
the digestibility of different alimentary substances, is 
determined purely by the time required for their solution. 
— Such a view of the subject however, is very far from 
being correct. The assimilating processes of the living 
body are to be contemplated by the physiologist as purely 
vital, — effected by the living organs, and attended with 
an expenditure of the vital properties of the tissues, and 
the functional powers of those organs; (§ 885.) and con- 
sequently, in the true physiological sense of language, 
the ease or difficulty with which ; ny alimentary substance 
is digested by the human stomach, is not determined by 
the time in which it undergoes the chymifying process of 
that organ, but exclusively by the amount of vital power 
required to digest it. — The substance which causes the 
greatest expenditure of vital power in undergoing the 
functional process of the digestive organs, and leaves 
those organs most exhausted from the performance of 
their function, is the hardest, or most difficult to digest, 
whether the time in which it is undergoing that process 
be longer or shorter. 

§921. But we have seen (§916.) that, flesh-meat is 
more stimulating in proportion to the quantity of nourish- 
ment which it affords to the human body, than pure 
vegetable aliment is, and that all the processes of 
assimilation and nutrition in the use of the former, are 
more rapid and attended with greater expenditure of 
vital power and waste of organized substance, than in the 
use of the latter, it is therefore, a physiological truth oi 
great importance, that while animal food, or flesh-meat, 

112 graham's lectures on the 

passes through the stomach in a .shorter time than most 
kinds of vegetable aliment, and therefore, has been 
supposed to be more easily digested, yet it actually 
draws upon that organ and upon the sources of innervation 
for a greater sum of vital energy, and consequently causes 
a greater abatement of the sensorial power (§ 165.) of the 
brain and nervous system during the process of digestion, 
and leaves the stomach much more exhausted from the 
performance of its function, than vegetable food docs. — 
And hence, they who subsist principally on animal food 
or flesh-meat, always feel more stupid and dull during 
gastric digestion, and feel a much greater degree of 
exhaustion in the epigastric region, when the food has 
passed from the stomach into the intestinal canal, (§ 338.) 
and suffer much more distress from hunger when deprived 
of their accustomed meals, (§S92.) than they do who 
subsist entirely on a pure vegetable aliment. And this is 
qne important reason why, — all other things being equal, 
and the system being fully established in its habits, — 
they who subsist on a well-chosen vegetable diet, can 
endure protracted labor, fatigue and exposure, much 
longer without food than they can who subsist mostly or 
entirely on flesh-meat. 

§922. Though according to chemical analysis there- 
fore, a pound of good wheat bread absolutely contains 
but fifty per cent, more of nutritious matter than a pound 
of flesh-meat, (§ 900.) yet the physiological difference 
between the two kinds of aliment, is much greater than is 
indicated by the results of chemical analysis. For, the 
flesh-meat, being much more stimulating than the bread, 
in proportion to the quantity of nourishment which it 
actually affords to the human body, not only exhausts 
the stomach more in the process of gastric digestion, but 
works the whole organic machinery of life with more 


rapidity and intensity, (§919.) and therefore, causes a 
proportionally greater waste of the substance of the 
organs in a given time, and consequently, increases the 
demand of the system for fresh supplies of aliment. 
Hence, as extensive experiment has fully proved, two 
pounds of good wheaten bread will actually sustain a man 
accustomed to such a diet, longer and better than eight 
pound of he be ll :sh-meat. 

§923. The Russian and Creek laborers and those of 
many other' countries, will work from twelve to sixteen 
hours a day, with great pow r and activity and cheerful- 
ness, and subsist on about one pound of coarse bread 
with a small bunch of garlics, figs, raisins, apples or some 
other fruit containing little nourishment* While, accord- 
ing to Ross Cox, who spent several years beyond the 
Rocky Mountains, as an agent of the American North- 

it&rn Fur Company, the Canadian boatmen and others 
in the Company's service, receive, according to stipula- 
tion, and regularly consume (when they have no other 
food) eight pounds of clear flesh a day for each man; 
and ten pounds if it contains any bone: — and these men, 
if their rations of food are cut short for two or three days, 
are exhausted and unstrung. — "The Patagonians," says 
the Rev. Mr. Amies, who spent three months among 
them as a missionary, "subsist almost entirely upon the 
guanaco, which they take in the chase. They will often, 
in their indolence, suffer their provisions to run very low, 
and for two or three days, subsist on very little: and 
then, when urged by hunger, they will mount their horses 
and go out in pursuit of fresh supplies. And when they 
return with their game, it is a very common thing for a 
single Patagonian to consume from fifteen to twenty 
pounds of flesh in the course of a day. — Indeed, I have 
frequently seen a single man, after two or three days' 

114 graham's lectures on tjie 

severe abstemiousness, consume at one meal, in the 
course of three hours, the half of a guanaco, which would 
weigh from fifteen to twenty pounds. This flesh was 
generally eaten very slightly cooked." — The accounts 
which have been given of the voraciousness of the Esqui- 
maux and other flesh-eating tribes in the northern regions 
of Europe, Asia and America, and of the enormous 
quantities which they consume in a day and at a single 
meal, are almost incredible, yet they have been repeatedly 
corroborated by the best authority. — On the other hand 
again, millions of the inhabitants of India and China 
subsist on a few ounces of rice a day for each individual; 
and where they are in other respects temperate and correct 
in their habits, they are well nourished, and athletic and 

§921. We have seen (§745.) that, in proportion as 
the stimulating effect of any alimentary substance exceeds 
what is necessary for the full and healthy performance of 
the functions of the organs of assimilation and nutrition, 
the vital action, not only of the particular organs, but of 
the whole system, is rendered more rapid and intense, all 
the functions are cornmensurately precipitated, and the 
vital processes of assimilation and nutrition are less 
perfectly effected. Hence, though while the health and 
integrity of the assimilating organs are preserved, the 
physical and chemical character of the chyle is nearly 
identical, whatever maybe the alimentary substance from 
which it is elaborated, (§465.) yet the vital constitution 
of the chyle and blood, and consequently of the solids, is 
greatly affected by the quality of the food. When chyle 
is taken from the living vessels, the vital constitution of 
that which is elaborated from flesh-meat, is capable of 
resisting the action of inorganic affinities (§126.) only a 
short time; but will begin to putrefy in three or four days 


at the longest: while the vital constitution of that which 
is elaborated from pure and proper vegetable aliment, will 
resist the action of inorganic affinities for weeks; (§4GG.) 
yet it will, in the end, putrefy with all the phenomena of 
that formed from flesh-meat, — thereby demonstrating that 
it has at least, equal claims to the character of annualized 
matter, and leaving little grounds to doubt that, in the 
processes of chymification and chylification, the vital 
changes are so much more complete and perfect, when 
the vegetable food is used, as to give the chyle more 
power of vital constitution to resist the action of the 
principles of putrefaction than is possessed by the chyle 
formed from flesh-meat. It is well known also, that 
human blood formed from animal food, will putrefy when 
taken from the living vessels, in a much shorter time and 
much more rapidly than that formed from pure vegetable 
aliment: and that there is always — other things being 
equal — a much greater febrile and putrescent tendency 
in the living bodies of those who subsist mostly on animal 
food, than in those who subsist wholly on pure vegetable 
aliment. Hence, if two healthy, robust men of the same 
age, — the one subsisting principally on flesh-meat, and 
the other exclusively on a diet of vegetable food and 
waler ,— be suddenly shot down and killed, in warm 
weather, and both bodies be laid out in the ordinary 
manner, and left to the action of the elements and 
affinities of the inorganic kingdom, the body of the 
vegetable-eater will remain two or three times as long as 
the body of the flesh-eater will, without becoming 
intolerably offensive from the processes of putrefaction. 

§ 925. These then, are truths which defy all controversy 
— truths which are established in the constitutional nature 
of things, and confirmed by all correctly apprehended 
and accurately estimated facts inhuman experience, relat- 

1 1 G graham's lectures etc. 

ing to the subject, that flesh-meat is not necessary to 
nourish and sustain the human body in the healthiest and 
best manner, where proper vegetable food can be obtain- 
ed; (§ 923.) that it is much more stimulating to the sys- 
tem, in proportion to the nourishment which it actually 
affords, than a pure and proper vegetable diet; (§916.) 
that it renders the general physiological action of the 
system more rapid and intense, — accelerates all the vital 
functions, (§919.) increases the expenditure of the vital 
properties of the tissues and functional powers of the 
organs, (§312.) and more rapidly wears out the vital con- 
stitution of the body and exhausts the ultimate and unrc- 
plenishable resources of life: (§887.)— and it is almost 
equally certain that it renders all the vital processes of 
assimilation and nutrition less complete and perfect. 

§920. Animal food or flesh-meat, therefore, as a gen- 
eral law, is not so conducive as a proper vegetable diet, 
to healthluluess of growth — perfectness of development 
— symmetry — beauty — agility — permanent strength — 
uniformity of health — and great longevity of the human 
body; nor to the acutenesS and integrity of the special 
senses, and the activity and power of the intellectual 
and moral faculties. (§746.) 


Original perfection of the organic structure of man, and constitutional 
relations between the progenitor and the progeny — Original perfec- 
tion of all created things — The human body the highest order of mate- 
rial forms, combining matter, life, mind and moral powers, — forming 
a part of the harmonious whole of nature — Fixed relations between 
bodily symmetry and mental and moral powers — This proposition 
illustrated— Fixed relations between the bodily symmetry and beau- 
ty, and the moral influence of man as an individual, and the moral 
character of society— This proposition illustrated — Moral power of 
personal beauty — This effect not from depravity, but from natural 
fitness — The original unprovability of man asserted because of the 
present unprovability of animals and vegetables — This position refuted 
—The truth of bodily perfection harmonizes with the intuitive senti- 
ment of every soul that such perfection is the true bodying forth of 
intellectual and moral beauty — Beauty and vanity not necessarily 
connected — Perfect symmetry extremely rare — Power of beauty in 
the cause of virtue — Man's obligations to cultivate the bodily sym- 
metry and beauty of the species — Illustration from Scripture — Nat- 
N ural harmony of all the attributes and interests of man's nature — 
The cultivation of beauty in the lower animals — Power of fashion in 
dress, &c — Beauty seldom met with in civic life — Organized bodies 
produce their like — The results of the reproducing economy, how 
modified — These effects greatest in the primitive ages — The reac- 
tions of the vital powers under disturbing causes — Greatest deviations 
from normal results in the early ages — Mental and moral influences 
greatest on the reproducing economy in the primitive ages — Early 
separation into families, and forming of tribes — Varieties of the hu- 
man species accounted for — Varieties of lower animals — Fixed rela- 
tion between the economy of nutrition and reproduction — Means of 
securing symmetry of development and of returning to the perfect 
form of the original type of the species—The size and form of the 
human body, by what determined — Physiological laws of develop- 

118 graham's lectures on the 

ment — Comparative effects of vegetable and animal food on the de- 
velopment and symmetry of the human body — Illustrations from the 
history of the human family — The flesh-eating tribes, Patagonians, &c. 
— Vegetable-eating tribes and nations — Original size of man, and other 
animals — Daniel and his three friends — Natives of different islands — 
The Circassians, Irish, &c. — Pitcaim Islanders — The hermit — 
General conclusion on this topic. 

§927. Every thing that we can learn from Nature 
and from Revelation concerning the character of the 
Deity, and of the harmonious principles of wisdom and 
benevolence and utility, which governed all his ope- 
rations in the original creation and construction of this 
world of ours, with all its varied forms of matter and 
modes of existence, leads us to believe that God created 
our first parents perfectly beautiful: — that they \\c;e 
designed to be the grand types, or models of our species; 
and that, in them, was established a constitutional econ- 
omy, by which like beings, in size, symmetry and beau- 
ty of body, and excellence of faculties and powers, were 
to be propagated through successive generations, so long 
as the species exists. (§ 125.) And God unquestiona- 
bly, had a fixed purpose — a moral design in this. — God 
must himself be perfect; and all the elements of his char- 
acter must be perfectly harmonious; and all that he pro- 
duces by his immediate omnific efficiency, must partake 
of the perfection of its cause. — It must be, a bodying 
forth of the truth and wisdom and beauty and harmony 
and benevolence of the Divine J\tind, in appropriate 

§928. We have seen (§140. — 144.) that, from the 
simplest arrangements or combinations of the element or 
elements of nature, to the most complicated forms of 
matter, — throughout all the variety of material things, 
each particular form has its specific laws of constitution 


and relation; — and by virtue of these laws, each form is 
what it is, in nature and in qualities, and has its own 
individual existence; — and all forms are held together in 
a harmonious universe. 

§929. The human body is the highest order of m te- 
rial forms. — In it, matter and vitality and mind and moral 
feeling are mysteriously associated: — and, in our present 
state of being, not only hold fixed and precise relations 
to each others (§G13.) but to all things else in nature; 
(§7.) and thus, human nature constitutes an essential and 
congruent part of the harmonious whole :*— and the entire 
and perfect harmony of all created things, in themselves, 
and in their relations to their Creator, requires that man 
should possess a nature perfect in its. kind; — and that, 
there should be fixed and precise relations between the 
bodily symmetry and mental and moral powers of man. 

§930. It is true that, in the present state of things, 
we often see the most splendid minds, and the most 
exalted moral characters that adorn our race, associated 
with infirm, and even with deformed bodies :->— yet in all 
such cases, could we examine them with the eye of om- 
niscience, we should probably perceive that, a want of 
menial and moral symmetry, corresponding with that of 
the body, always coexists. 

§931. It is true also, tha in bodies the most symmet- 
rical and beautiful, there is frequently a want of the same 
degree of intellectual and moral beauty: — but in all such 
cases, there is either less symmetry of the entire organi- 
zation, or great defect of education. 

§932. With all the seeming contradictions in nature 
to the principles which I have advanced, therefore, I 
still contend for the interesting truth, that the most per- 
fect intellectual and moral character of which human 
nature is capable, is only to be developed in the most 

120 graham's lectures on the 

perfect body, — a body whirl) is the most perfectly sym- 
metrical, — not only in its general contour and propor- 
tions, but in all the details of its organization. And, if 

I am not over fanciful, this same doctrine was indicated 
in those regulations of the Mosaic dispensation, which 
required a lamb without blemish for certain sacrifices, 
and men without blemish for the priesthood. — And even 
in the choice of rulers and kings, in ancient times, this 
consideration had a very controlling influence. Thus, 
we are L formed that Saul, the first king of the Jews, 
" was a choice young man and a goodly; and there was 
not among the children of Is. a 1 a goodlier person than 
he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any 
of the people," and for these reasons mainly, he seems 
to ha\ elected for the first king of that nation. — 

JNor was this regulation peculiar to the Hebrews. Jiodi- 
ly symmetry and personal beauty were regarded by 
many, if not all of the ancient nations, as favorable evi- 
dences of the intellectual and moral powers of man. 

§ 933. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, commanded 
the master of his eunuchs to select from among the cap- 
tive children of Israel, " men in whom there was no blem- 
ish, but well favored and skillful in all wisdom and cun- 
ning arid knowledge, and understanding science; — and 
such as had ability in them to stand in the king's pal 
and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of 
the Chaldeans;" — and these were to be nourished with 
the king's w r ine and food, for three years, to prepare 
them — as well in personal comeliness as other things, to 
stand before the king. — And, according to the sacred 
record, Daniel and his three particular friends, were, in 
the end, not less distinguished from the other selected 
children of Israel, for personal comeliness, than for their 
wisdom and knowledge and understanding. 


§ 934. Socrates, the most eminent philosopher of an- 
tiquity, used to say that, when he saw a beautiful person, 
he always expected to find it animated by a beautiful soul. 
And Horace, the celebrated Roman Poet, says, in his 
Art of Poetry — " You must look for a perfect mind only 
in a perfect body." — In fact, this sentiment seems almost 
intuitive in our very nature. It is hardly possible for us 
to read the works of any author, which greatly interest 
and delight us, without forming a notion that the author 
is comely and agreeable in his or her person, unless we 
have either seen or heard the contrary. — And when, for 
the first time, we read the description of a favorite author, 
if we learn that he was or is symmetrical and comely in 
person, it harmonizes with our feelings, and accords with 
our notions of what is fit and proper and ought to be: — 
and if we learn that he was or is disproportioned, un- 
comely, dwarfish or deformed, our notions of the natural 
fitness of things, are shocked, and our feelings are dis- 
satisfied. — And, on the other hand, we cannot look upon 
a symmetrical and beautiful person, of whom we know 
nothing, without being impressed with an idea of a cor- 
responding intellectual and moral character. Indeed! 
the sight of a beautiful face or even of a beautiful hand 
or foot, when nothing more of the person is seen, almost 
necessarily causes us to imagine that the whole body 
to which that portion belongs, is equally symmetrical 
and beautiful! — Such is our — seemingly innate idea of 
the natural fitness and harmony of things: — and this, 
being universally true of the human race, amounts to 
a strong, if not conclusive proof, that, God, in the origi- 
nal constitution of things, established fixed and precise 
relations between the bodily symmetry and beauty, and 
the intellectual and moral powers and character of man. 
(§ 929.) 

VOL. II. 11 

122 graham's lectures on the 

§ 935. In the original constitution of tilings also, the 
Creator established the most determinate relations between 
the bodily symmetry and beauty, and the moral influence 
of man, as an individual, and the moral character of so- 

§ 936. This important truth is a living sentiment in 
every human breast, — and I had almost said that, it is an 
element in our intellectual and moral constitution. 

§ 937. In all ages of the world, mankind have been so 
strongly impressed with this sentiment, that, they have 
at times, conceived that it extends to the lower animals, 
and even rules in the breasts of the most ferocious beasts 
of the forests: — and accordingly, fables of antiquity tell 
us that the tiger has melted into kindness, and the lion 
has crouched in lamb-like gentleness in the presence of 
the overpowering loveliness of woman! — But w lid hel- 
lions and tigers ever felt the subduing influence of 
human loveliness or not, it is certain that spirits not 
less fierce, and hearts not less ferocious, have bowed 
before its moral omnipotence! — Cod only knows to 
what extent the moral influence of female beauty has 
affected the destinies of the human race! — But all his- 
tory and all tradition, and the every-day experience of 
every generation of our species, conspire to prove its 
vastness and importance. — The Grecian Helen, and the 
Egyptian Cleopatra, whose charms involved whole nations 
in long and bloody wars, and affected the history, and 
modified the character and condition of the world, are 
only the more conspicuous instances, of what, in every 
period of time and in every quarter of the earth, has been 
experienced by mankind. — Who has not felt the power 
of female loveliness? — and who has not witnessed the 
moral influence which a beautiful woman exerts on all 
around her, if her mental and moral qualities correspond 


with the symmetry and comeliness of her person?* The 
sage, even in the winter of his years, when all his natural 
sensibilities seem chilled, and chastened down by time, 
and stoic wisdom, — the veteran hero, — the grave divine, 
— the crafty politician, — all true to Nature, in this respect, 
like the ardent youth, and like the unsophisticated and 
untutored child of the forest even in his rudest state, in- 
stantly feel a peculiar and irresistible influence break upon 
them, — subduing their sterner and their harsher passions, 
and kindling a warm and generous emotion in their 
breasts, when a beautiful woman comes into their pres- 

* The celebrated and beautiful Georgiana Spencer, Duchess of Dev- 
onshire, is an instance of this kind. 

" A traditionary halo invests this beautiful, accomplished, and virtuous 
lady. From her cradle she was as beautiful as Hebe, and her mind is 
said to have been beautiful as her person. For many years she led the 
fashion at the Court of George HI., and perhaps was the only woman 
of fashion, in that reign, who did not lose caste by mixing in the strife 
of politics. From the moment that Lady Georgiana Spencer appeared 
in puhlic, she was the object of admiration, from both sexes. If her 
own sex envied her the possession of extreme loveliness, the suavity of 
her manners and the purity of her mind dispelled the bitter feeling. 

"She was an accomplished musician — drew well — knew many of the 
modern languages, and wrote poetry so exquisitely, that Coleridge 
praised it as superior to his own. In a word, she was formed to win 
all hearts, and she did win them. 

" In politics she was a Whig. The Duke of Maryborough — the con- 
queror at Blenheim — was her grandfather, and his life was devoted to 
the vindication of the principles whose triumph caused the revolution 
of 168S. The family maintained the same principles, and, accordingly, 
when Charles James Fox stood forward as their champion, the youthful 
Duchess flung herself into the arena of politics to accomplish his re- 
turn to Parliament by the electors of Westminster. This was in 1784. 
She, a hi»h-born exclusive, mingled with the mob of Westminster, as 
a vote-canvasser for Fox, and it is recorded that her smiles gained for 
her favorite many a suffrage, which, to a less fascinating applicant, 
would have been refused." — English Paper. 

124 Graham's lectures on the 

§ 938. Nor is the moral influence of personal beauty, 
confined to the female sex. — The annals of our race are 
full of instances, in which the hodily symmetry and 
comeliness of men, have raised them from humble ob- 
scurity, to the highest stations of human power, and 
enabled them to manage the affairs of kingdoms, as their 
passions or caprices instigated. — The history of the 
kings of England alone, affords us numerous instances 
of this kind, wherein men, without birth, without virtue, 
without learning, without political experience or skill, — 
in short, without any thing to recommend them but the 
symmetry and beauty of their persons, have become— 
for the sake of their bodily charms, solely, the special fa- 
vorites of kings, and been elevated from humble life, to 
the highest honors of the state, next to the crown; and 
by their moral influence have; wielded the authority of the 
crown, with as much power as if it actually encircled 
their own heads. — And, from the ruling favorite of a 
crown, down to the humble gallant of a neighborhood, 
the man of great bodily symmetry, and beauty, exerts a 
much more powerful and extensive moral influence, than 
those who are in all other respects his equals, but want 
his corporeal charms. 

§ 939. And who will say that aught of this is evil? — 
and that it springs from the depravity of our nature? — 
Does it betoken human depravity, that we should he 
charmed and delighted with the harmony and the soul- 
stirring melody of music ? — Or, that we should contem- 
plate, with admiration and delight, the beautiful and the 
sublime of nature, in earth, and ocean and the starry 
heavens? — Whence spring the raptures of our kindled 
moments, when we contemplate the beauty and magnifi- 
cence and grandeur and sublimity of nature, but from 
the soul's perception of the beauty and the harmony of 
truth? and from the soul's conception that the truth of 


beauty and of grandeur and sublimity in nature, is but 
the shadowing forth, in perceptible forms, of the infinite 
perfections of the invisible and Eternal Mind? 

§ 940. Who, in imagination, pierces the veil between 
eternity and time, and soars away to that pure world of 
happiness and glory, where, the good man hopes, when 
this probationary pilgrimage is done, to dwell in immor- 
tality of soul and endless bliss, — and contemplates the 
sanctified inhabitants of that holy place, risen incorrupti- 
ble, to eternal life and everlasting glory with the Eternal 
One, — that does not see the glorified bodies of all the 
spirits of just men made perfect, as perfectly symmetri- 
cal and beautiful as those spirits are holy and happy? — 
Does not the natural harmony of things demand it? — 
Can we conceive of any thing deformed in heaven? 
or any want of perfectness in any thing there? — And what 
is heaven but the supreme and perfect reign of all the 
laxos of God, in every thing? — It must be then, that, the 
perfection of the human body, is an essential part of 
the complete and perfect harmony of nature; (§ 929.) 
and that God, in the original constitution of things, 
established fixed and precise relations between the bodily, 
and the intellectual and moral perfections of man: — 
and between the bodily symmetry and personal comeli- 
ness, and the moral influence of man. (§ 935.) 

§941. Some, it is true, contend that, as the horse 
and dog and many other species of the lower animals, 
and also, many species of the vegetable kingdom, are 
capable of being very greatly improved, in size and 
vigor, and symmetry and beauty, by being taken from 
their natural state, and cultivated by the care of man, 
therefore, analogy exceedingly favors, if it does not 
establish the conclusion, that, the human form was not 
originally so well developed — so large and vigorous and 

126 graiiam's lectures on tiif. 

symmetrical and beautiful as it lias been rendered, and 
is capable of being rendered by cultivation in civic and 
artificial life. But this reasoning appears to be wholly 
inconclusive, and illogical. — it assumes as true what I 
am by no means prepared to grant. — 1 believe there is a 
general evidence in nature, that many species of the 
lower animals, if not all, and of tbe vegetable kingdom, 
as well as man, have undergone a considerable de- 
generation, since they were originally produced: — and 
this is at least, clearly implied, if it is not explicitly 
asserted in our Sacred Scriptures. — It therefore, remains 
to be proved that what is called tbe natural state and 
condition of tbe horse and other animals, and of tbe rose 
and other vegetables, is truly such; and not a degenerated 
state and condition: and consequently, it remains to be 
proved that tbey arc really capable of being cultivated 
into a higher state of perfection than they originally pos- 
sessed.* The general evidences and analogies of nature, 
certainly do not appear to favour such a notion. 

♦Those who have seen the horse in a perfectly natural stale, in a 
climate congenial to his nature, speak of him as being superlatively 
beautiful. — It is undoubtedly true however, that in any species of 
organized bodies, either vegetable or animal, an individual of good 
health and vigorous constitution, may be more rapidly developed, and 
considerably increased in size, by means which, if continued through 
several generations, would inevitably deteriorate the race, and which 
would also necessarily increase the liability to disease in the individual 
in whom the experiment began; and in some measure shorten his life. 
"When aboy," says my excellent friend Alvan Clark, Esq., " I planted 
a number of peach trees on my fathers farm. Some of them I planted 
in a very rich soil; and others in a drier, more sandy and poorer soil. 
In a few years, those which I planted in the rich soil, were fine large 
trees and began to bear; while the others were very backward and 
small, and seemed to promise little. In this state, I left them, and my 
native place. After several years' absence, I returned home, and found 
that the trees which I planted in the rich soil were all dead and dry; 
but the others, which were so unpromising at first, had become nob'le 


§ 942. But, admitting 1 1 lis opinion to be true, it does 
not follow that man — the highest order of terrestrial 
beings — endowed with intellectual and moral powers, and 
for whom, in one sense, all other things were made, — 
prepared to serve his natural and intellectual and moral 
wants, and designed to be subject to his husbandry and 
cultivation, — was, also himself, originally created, less 
perfect as an organic and animal being, than he was capa- 
ble of being rendered, by artificial cultivation. — Certain 
it is, that what is now regarded as the natural state of 
man, affords no evidence for reasonings of this kind: — 
because the savage state, (§25. Note) such as it now 
exists, and such as it has existed for many centuries, and 
probably for several thousand years, (§ 778.) is, most 
indubitably, not the natural state of man. (§ 774.) We 
know that, many of the habits and circumstances of 
savage life, are very far from being natural to man, and 
powerfully serve to deteriorate his nature. (§653.) Yet, 
if it were true, that, the original, organic and animal 
nature of man, was capable of great improvement, in 
size and strength and symmetry and beauty, by cultiva- 
tion; it would not, in any measure, militate against the 
doctrine, that, in the original .design, and in the constitu- 
tional nature of things, the Creator established fixed 
and precise relations between the bodily, and the intel- 
lectual and moral perfections of man; — and between 
his bodily symmetry and beauty, and his moral influence. 

trees and were still in full vigor, and laden with delicious fruit." — 
This is an excellent illustration of what is true in animals as well as 
vegetables. — Thousands of human beings are made to grow rapidly, 
and are kept plump and ruddy, by means which rapidly expend the 
resources of the vital constitution, and commensuratejy shorten life, 
and increase the danger of disease; and which, if continued in a direct 
line without interruption, through successive generations, would inevi- 
tably cut off the line in three or four generations at longest. 

128 graham's lectures on the 

§ 943. But account for it as we may, it is a truth, 
the demonstration of which, we all have in our breasts, 
that, when we find a truly beautiful person, with intellec- 
tual and moral deformity, or, one of high intellectual and 
moral beauty, with a disagreeable or deformed person — 
whatever conclusion our education and our reasoning 
powers, may strive to lead us to, — we/ee/, and irresisti- 
bly, we feel that, in either case, there is a natural incon- 
gruity — a want of harmony! — Indeed, we feci it to be 
something of a mostrosity! 

§944. It is not that, the mere curves and lines, and 
complexion of the body, as material qualities, afford 
us this delight, in beholding the corporeal beauty of man, 
— but it is that, the truth of bodily perfection, harmo- 
nizes with the intuitive sentiment of every soul, that 
such perfection is the true bodying forth of intellect- 
ual and moral beauty. — We feel that, as an unseen 
energy controls the aggregation and arrangement of 
the particles of matter, and brings them into the per- 
fect form of a beautiful crystal, so the efficient spirit of 
intellectual and moral beauty, should control the aggre- 
gation and arrangement of the matter of its bodily form, 
and make that body the true type of its own beauty and 
perfection. — And hence, whenever we behold a beauti- 
ful human form, concerning the mental and moral cpiali- 
ties of which, we are wholly ignorant, our admiration of 
it always, necessarily, involves the idea of the harmony 
of its mental and moral qualities with itself. — We inevi- 
tably admire it as the true form of the mental and moral 
beauty of its soul: — and, consequently, so long as we 
continue to be enamored with a beautiful person, we 
continue to believe that person possessed of a degree of 
intellectual and moral beauty, equal to the degree of our 
passion: (§ 5S6.) — and, when we discover that this is not 


the case; and find that, with such a beautiful person, 
there is associated intellectual and moral imbecility or 
deformity, the beauty of the person, no longer excites 
our admiration; but the individual becomes the object 
of our pity or disgust or abhorrence. 

§945. But, it is said that symmetry and beauty of 
body, serve no other end than to minister to the person- 
al vanity of the possessor, and the delusion of the admir- 
er; and therefore, it could not have entered into the 
design of the infinitely wise and holy Creator, to estab- 
lish a fixed constitutional relation between the bodily 
symmetry and beauty of man, and his intellectual and 
moral excellence: — and between those bodily qualities 
and his moral influence! — It is true, that, in the misera- 
bly perverted and deranged state of things, in the present 
condition of the human world, personal beauty is too gen- 
erally associated with excessive vanity; and too often 
with a vacant mind; — and not unfrequently with a vicious 
heart. But these facts conflict not with the sentiment 
which I have advanced. They only show that, those pow- 
ers and qualities which God designed for good, may, by 
man, as a free moral agent, be abused and perverted, 
and made the means of evil. But, whether for good or 
for evil, still it is true that, all things else being equal, he 
or she that possesses the greatest personal charms, or 
bodily symmetry and comeliness, exerts the greatest 
moral influence upon others. 

§ 94G. There are many comparatively beautiful persons 
in society, who are still, not perfectly symmetrical in all 
their organization, and harmonious in all their propor- 
tions: — some want of development in particular parts, 
or some undue development of others, destroys the per- 
fect symmetry and harmony of the system and causes a 
correspondent blemish in the intellectual or moral char- 

130 graham's lectures on the 

acter, or both. — But where the symmetry is perfect and 
there is a complete harmony of all the parts, if the intel- 
lectual and moral beauty are not equal to the symmetry 
and comeliness of the body, it is entirely the fault of 
education, and not in any degree owing to the want of 
natural faculties or powers. Nor is there any more nat- 
ural necessity for vanity, in connexion with personal 
beauty, than there is for any other folly or vice. — Yet the 
very fact that such people are vain of their beauty, is 
itself, a proof of the moral influence of bodily symmetry 
and comeliness! — How else, should a beautiful person 
become vain of bis or her bodily charms, except by the 
continual experience that, every one admires and praises, 
and shows a deference to those charms? — But were 
bodily symmetry and comeliness as common as they are 
now rare, the grounds of this vanity would be done 
■way; — all would admire those qualities as much as we 
now do: — yet the few could not pride themselves in a 
monopoly of those attributes which they considered 
would secure them all the favor and admiration they 
desired, without the addition of intellectual and moral 
beauties, because they only possessed them: — but know- 
ing that personal charms were the common endowments 
of their fellow creatures, they would feel the necessity 
for proper intellectual and moral cultivation, to secure 
their welfare and their happiness. — And if, by proper 
cultivation, their intellectual and moral excellence be- 
came equal to their bodily perfection, they would be 
living illustrations of our ideas of angels; and their moral 
influence would be almost omnipotent in the cause of 
virtue; refining, chastening, elevating all on whom it was 
exerted, and by whom it was felt! — And this would be 
a fulfilment of the design of the Creator, in the original 
constitution of man and things. 


§ 947. If it be true then — and we cannot justly doubt 
its truth, — that the infinitely wise and benevolent Archi- 
tect of Nature, ere he had called the substances and 
forms composing the material universe into existence, 
conceived with all the perfectness of the Eternal Mind, 
the nice design of each particular form he was about to 
order into being, with a determinate regard to its own 
final cause and its relations to all other forms, and in 
that perfect conception of the scheme of nature, the 
Omnific Mind, as it were, pencilled out in its imagination, 
the human form with fixed and precise regard to all its 
attributes of body and of soul, — and if it be true that 
the Creator perfectly bodied forth the conceptions of his 
mind in the material form of man, and thus made the first 
parents of our species the exact images of his thoughts 
and the perfect models of their kind: — and, with deter- 
minate reference to the general harmony of things, 
established in the constitutional nature of man, fixed and 
precise relations between his corporeal and intellectual 
and moral perfection, (§ 927.) — and between his bodily 
symmetry and comeliness and his moral influence : (§ 935.) 
— and established also in the constitutional nature of man, 
an economy by which like beings, in nature, size, 
symmetry and beauty were to be propagated through 
succeeding generations, during the existence of the 
species, — and if the results of that economy as to the 
size and symmetry and beauty of the human body, may 
be greatly modified by the voluntary actions and habits 
and conditions of mankind, — then it is manifestly our 
natural and moral and civil and religious duty to cultivate, 
by all true and proper means in our power, the bodily 
symmetry and beauty of our species. 

§ 948. They who have thought little on this interesting 
subject, may perhaps, feel disposed to smile at reasonings 

132 Graham's lectures on the 

of this kind: — yet if they willgive their attention thorough- 
ly to the matter, they will find that these views are not 
chimerical, hut that they are founded in the deep philos- 
ophy of things. 

§ 949. The apostle Paul involves the same idea in 
his beautiful illustration of moral and spiritual things.— 
He tells us that the highest good of man, as well as the 
glory of Cod, requiring that man should be perfectly 
reconciled and conformed to God, the Eternal Father, 
in order to adapt his economy of grace — designed to 
effect this glorious end of salvation — to the nature and 
condition of man, and to show man precisely and truly 
what he must he reconciled to, spiritually and morally 
bodied forth, in Jesus Christ, the exact image of himself, 
— and predestinated that all his children should be con- 
formed to the image of his Son. 

§ 950. The beautiful idea is that, the Father delineated 
the exact image of himself in Jesus Christ, as a perfect 
model of a child of Cod, and established an economy of 
grace by which, all that were begotten of Cod should he 
born in the image of his Son — being moulded after the 
perfect model, — and should grow up in the exact likeness 
of that model, till — as they had naturally borne the image 
of the earthy man Adam so they should morally and 
spiritually bear the image of the heavenly man Christ; — 
and attain to the measure of the fulness of his stature, — 
or, morally and spiritually become in size, symmetry, 
comeliness, and in all other respects exactly like him. — 
And God having established this perfect model, with 
fixed and precise relations to himself, and to the nature 
and condition of man, and predestinated that all his 
children should be conformed to it; and having established 
an economy of grace by which man may become 
conformed to that image; and the results of which, man, 


as a free moral agent, can greatly modify by his voluntary 
actions, habits and conditions, the apostle earnestly 
exhorts and entreats those whom he addressed and all 
mankind, to use all their powers and means to become 
conformed to that perfect image of God in Christ Jesus, 
and tlms to work out their own salvation with earnest 
solicitude and perseverance, and secure their own highest 
and eternal well-being and make their calling and election 

§951. But I hope that I shall not be misunderstood on 
this subject. — In advancing the proposition that, it is 
our natural and moral and civil and religious duty to cul- 
tivate, by all true and proper means in our power, the 
bodily symmetry and beauty of our species, I do not 
mean that we are to do this merely for the sake of 
bodily symmetry and comeliness; but because, in the 
constitutional nature of things, these corporeal attributes 
hold such a relation to all the other qualities of our nature, 
that the perfection of our whole nature requires such a 
cultivation of these attributes: (§ 940.) — and precisely 
those measures which are best adapted to produce and 
preserve bodily symmetry and comeliness, are also most 
favorable to all the vital interests of our bodies, and to 
our highest intellectual, and moral, and social, and civil, 
and religious welfare. (§ 678.) 

§ 952. The various attributes of our nature, are, like 
the commandments of the Decalogue, so essentially one, 
that he who offends in one, offends in all. — We cannot 
violate nor neglect those physiological interests which 
are connected with our bodily symmetry and comeliness, 
or with the perfect organization, and symmetry and har- 
mony of our whole corporeal system, without violating 
or neglecting those interests which are essential to the 
highest and best condition of our whole nature. (§ 613.) 

vol. ii. 12 

134 Graham's lectures on the 

So that, if our sole object were to attain to the highest 
intellectual and moral excellence of which our human 
nature is capable, — if the means whi h we used to gain 
our object, were, in all respects, most truly and perli c ly 
adapted to the end which we aimed at, they would also 
be best adapted to produce and preserve the most perfect 
bodily symmetry and comeliness; and would he most 
favorable to bodily health, strength, and longevity. 
(§ 67S.) Hence 1 affirm that it is our natural and moral, 
and civil and religious duty to cultivate hf all true and 
proper means in our power, the bodily symmetry and 
beauty of our species. 

§953. And surely, to say the least of it, there is 
quite as much reasonableness in our endeavoring to 
cultivate the bodily symmetry and comeliness of our 
own species, as there is that we should cultivate these 
qualities in the lower animals. — Many think no trouble 
and expense of time and money too great to be devoted, 
to the cultivation of the bodily symmetry and beauty of 
their horses and oxen and cows, and even of their swine 
and domesticated fowls, and other animals: — but no one 
seems to think it of any importance to cultivate these 
qualities in the human species, — though the common 
sense of every man that reflects a little on the subject, 
must enable him to perceive that all the constitutional 
interests of our nature, are to some extent, connected 
with these corporeal attributes. 

§ 954. Omnipotent Fashion with most capricious, 
and yet most absolute and imperative authority, defines 
and ordains for us, the shapes and forms that we must 
worship, and to which we must become assimilated, — 
however unfriendly to the physiological and intellectual 
and moral interests of our nature! — If the body and limbs 
can be compressed or stretched into the mould of fashion, 


it is of little consequence whether they possess any nat- 
ural symmetry or not. — It the garment is shaped exactly 
according to fashion, and the body can be squeezed into 
it, it is no matter how much deformity that garment hides. 
— If the waist is too large, it must be reduced by the 
tournequet of fashion: — if the shoulders or other parts 
are not sufficiently broad or prominent, they must be 
filled out by padding and buckram: — and thus, human 
beings are tortured into such shapes as despotic fashion 
capriciously chooses to assume as the models of gentility 
and elegance; — and, unfortunately for poor human nature, 
almost every one of the caprices of fashion, is seriously 
unfavorable to our physiological, intellectual and moral 
well-being: — and the very means which fashion takes to 
make us artificially beautiful according to her ever chang- 
ing standard, are directly calculated to destroy the natu- 
ral symmetry and comeliness of our bodies, and to make 
us ugly and deformed. So that, by the operation of 
these, and other causes, there is little real bodily symme- 
try and comeliness to be found among the present gener- 
ations of the human race: — and what little there is, is 
mostly to be found among those tribes which are not 
considered as within the pale of civilization and refine- 
ment, or which, at most, have not advanced beyond that 
simple state, which, in all time, has been called the 
"golden age;" (§648) and whose habits and circum- 
stances most nearly accord with the constitutional laws 
of human nature. 

§ 955. It is truly surprising how very rarely bodily 
symmetry and comeliness are to be met with, in civic 
life! — If we make it a matter of particular attention, we 
shall find that hundreds of the fashionable and genteel 
and elegant ones of society, may pass in review before 
us, without affording one instance of real beauty: — and 

136 graham's lectures on the 

in a thousand, we may not be able to find one, who is 
even moderately symmetrical and beautiful throughout. — 
For, it often happens that we find a tolerably pretty face 
belonging to a body possessing no natural symmetry: — 
but a fashionable dress can make up for this defect, 
sufficiently to answer the ends of fashion — the mutual 
deception and fraud of civic life. — And how frequently 
do we see, moving before us, an artificially manufactured 
figure, which fills our imagination with the idea of all 
that is enchantingly beautiful in the face belonging to 
that form, which is covered from our curious and eager 
gaze by an envious hood or bonnet: — yet if an unlucky 
turn presents that countenance full to our eye, it is like 
the disclosure of the visage of the veiled prophet; we 
feel a deep and powerful revulsion of the soul, and almost 
instinctively recoil from the reality of our visual percep- 
tion, which, at once, dashes the spell of our imagination 
and our sensibilities, and forces upon us the sudden and 
painful conviction of our delusion. 

§ 956. The artificial symmetry and comeliness of 
civic life, may enable us to hide our natural deformity, 
and deceive others, till we can get married, but they do 
not fit us to become the parents of symmetrical, and 
comely and healthy offspring, and thus — so far as we arc 
concerned — to bless the world with a symmetrical and 
beautiful and noble race of human beings; — ■such as God 
made man to be, in the highest and best condition cf his 
nature: — and such as God has made man capable of 
being if he will: — but not without a strict conformity to 
those laws of constitution and relation which are widely 
and benevolently established in his nature. 

§957. O.ganization, as we have seen, (§ 121.) being 
the result of the vital action of living organs, and all 
organized bodies deriving their existence from pre-exist- 


ing bodies of the same kind, living organized bodies in 
a perfect state, possess a constitutional economy, by 
which they can produce other organized living bodies 
like themselves, in all respects, (§ 125. 133.) unless 
the operations and results of that economy, are affected 
by disturbing and modifying causes, distinct from its ori- 
ginal constitutional laws. — When all the constitutional 
laws of that economy are perfectly obeyed, its results 
will nicely correspond with the design for which it was 
established, — or perfectly resemble the original type or 
model in which the Creator instituted that economy, with 
fixed and precise relations to all the physical, mental and 
moral faculties, attributes and powers of that model: — 
but all infractions of the constitutional laws of that econ- 
omy, necessarily disturb its operations, impair its powers 
and modify its results. And as all living bodies are 
capable of being deteriorated and afterwards improved, 
so the reproducing economy of living bodies, is affected 
by their condition, and its results correspondently 
modified. Hence, certain causes acting on the human 
species, through several generations, will exceedingly 
degenerate the race, and establish those peculiarities in 
tribes and nations, which will give the appearance of 
strongly marked varieties, if not of distinct species of 
the human family. 

§95S. It is important to remark, however, that in the 
earliest generations of the human species, when the con- 
stitutional powers were least impaired, and all the vital 
susceptibilities and sympathies of the system most deli- 
cate and vigorous, all disturbing causes would produce 
more powerful effects in the physiological operations and 
results of the vital economy, than when the system had 
become more deteriorated or depraved in all its proper- 
ties. — Thus as we have seen, (§ 706.) when all the 

138 graham's lectures on the 

organs are pure and undepraved, the presence of baneful 
odors will not only be perceived by the olfactory sense, 
but if their quality or power be such as to endanger the 
vital welfare of the system, the alarm will be given 
through the medium of the vital sympathies, to the whole 
domain of organic instinct; and every part will be called 
into vigorous, and perhaps violent action, to protect the 
vital interests: — and in the general array of all the vital 
powers against a common enemy, the particular functions 
of the several organs, are necessarily more or less dis- 
turbed. — So when a state is invaded by a foreign foe, 
the husbandman, and artisan and merchant, and other 
members of the commonwealth, roused by a common 
sympathy of patriotism, rush to the field of arms to pro- 
tect the common interests of the state; and by these 
means, the particular functions of these several men, in 
agriculture, arts and merchandise, upon which the very 
existence of the state depends, are necessarily, more 
or less disturbed: and if these disturbances are too pow- 
erful, too frequent or too long, famine and poverty, and 
pestilence and general ruin must result. 

§ 959. But when the vital sensibilities and sympathies 
of the organs, have become depraved and generally im- 
paired, the poisonous odors, though equally hostile to 
the vital interests of the system, are not perceived and 
appreciated by the olfactory sense, (§706.) and conse- 
quently no alarm is given and no general effort is made 
to resist the encroachments of the enemy; but the whole 
system stupidly succumbs, and gradually sinks and per- 
ishes beneath its baneful influence; and the unhappy 
subject never, perhaps, suspects the cause of his de- 
struction. Or, if from the potency of the disturbing 
cause, the particular organ upon which it more imme- 
diately acts, is somewhat irritated, the vital sympathies 


of the system are too much depraved to communicate 
the alarm with integrity, and all the physiological powers 
of the body, are too much impaired to admit of a 
prompt and vigorous co-operation of the several parts 
to resist or to expel the invading foe. (§ 707.) 

§ 9G0. In the same manner, when the system is in a 
perfectly healthy and pure state, if any substance, un- 
friendly to the vital interests, be taken into the gastric 
cavity, the organic sensibility of the stomach (§ 737.) 
will instantly detect its pernicious character, and not only 
will the stomach itself be disturbed, but it will promptly 
give the alarm through the medium of the healthy sym- 
pathies, to the whole domain of organic instinct, and all 
the vital powers will at once, be arrayed against the hostile 
invader; and act witli an energy and violence proportionate 
to the real banefulness and power of the disturbing cause. 
And perhaps in the mighty conflict, life will be exhausted, 
and death ensue, before the enemy can be expelled, and 
the system relieved from its destructive influence. Yet 
in such a case, death would be more the result of 
exhaustion than of poison. (§8S5.) But, when the 
physiological powers of the system have become gener- 
ally depraved and impaired, pernicious substances may 
be introduced into the stomach habitually, and that organ 
will not detect their poisonous character, (§738.) nor 
spread the alarm over the domain of organic instinct; 
and, while a morbid irritation injurious in its effects will 
be more or less extensively felt, there will be no array 
of the vital powers against the invader, (§739.) but the 
poison will be permitted to extend its ruinous influence 
into every part and substance of the whole system; — the 
functional results of every organ will be deteriorated, and 
the constitution slowly impaired, and life destroyed. 
And perhaps, through the whole progress of the work 

140 graham's lectures on the 

of death — except in the agonies of the first debauch — 
the sensibilities and sympathies of the system will scarcely 
indicate a struggle of the vital powers to arrest the 
career of the destroyer! — so completely will they be 
stupefied and subdued by that destroyer's influence. 
In such a case, death is truly the result of poison. — Or, 
if the disturbing cause is very powerful, the morbid irri- 
tations of the organ immediately acted on, will be 
extended over the system, by unhealthy sympathies, and 
there will be a blind array, and violent action of the 
vital powers, which, instead of relieving the system, 
will only increase its sufferings and hasten its destruc- 
tion; and in these terrible conflicts, such a system will 
exhaust its vitality, and death will result much sooner 
than in a healthy body. — .So, when a state is generally 
depraved, by the universal selfishness and sensuality of 
the people, the constitutional interests of that state may 
be assailed and gradually destroyed; and none will have 
the courage nor the inclination to rise in the cause of 
freedom and of patriotism; but all will stupidly submit to 
the encroachments of usurpation, and suffer their liberties 
to be continually abridged, and themselves degraded to 
very slavery: — and when oppression bears so heavily 
upon them, as to be intolerable even to a slave, they will 
groan under it as under an incubus, which by the very 
principle that gives distress deprives them of the ability 
to act. — Or if they should be goaded on to action, it 
will only be in blind and violent convulsions, without 
direction — without aim, — and their tumultuous struggles 
will only serve to exhaust and to destroy themselves, or 
sink them deeper in their miseries, without effecting any 
good for the cause of freedom and the rights of man. 

§ 961 . But when I say (§ 958.) that, in the early state of 
the human constitution, when its physiological powers 


were far less impaired, and all the vital susceptibilities 
and sympathies of the system, far more delicate and vig- 
orous, all disturbing causes would produce more power- 
ful effects in the physiological operations and results of 
the vital economy, than when the system had become, 
in all its properties, more deteriorated or depraved, I do 
not mean that in the most healthy and vigorous state of 
the human constitution, disturbing causes more readily 
and more easily induce disease and death, but that all 
the vital powers, according to the instinctive economy 
of organic life, more promptly and more powerfully and 
more determinately co-operate to resist the action of 
those causes which are unfriendly to the vital interests: — 
and therefore, disturbing causes acting on particular parts, 
more powerfully affect the physiological operations and 
results of parts not immediately acted on by these causes, 
but sympathetically affected by them. Thus, if a piece 
of tobacco is taken into the mouth of one whose system 
is in perfect and vigorous health, and whose physiological 
properties and powers are perfectly un depraved and 
unimpaired, the poisonous character of the tobacco will 
be instantly perceived by the vital sensibilities of the 
parts on which it acts, (§29G.) and the alarm will be 
promptly given to the whole domain of organic instinct, 
and the physiological operations and results of the stom- 
ach, the liver, the lungs, and every other organ in the 
body, will be more or less powerfully and extensively 
affected, by the sympathetic irritations of the system 
(§300.) and by the general effort of the vital powers to 
resist the poisonous effects of the tobacco, and to expel 
the enemy from the vital precincts. But, when the sys- 
tem has become depraved, and its physiological proper- 
ties and powers impaired by the habitual use of tobacco, 
its poisonous character is not detected, no alarm is given 

142 graiiam's lectures on the 

to the domain of organic instinct, and while the vital 
interests are continually injured, and life itself jeoparded 
by the habitual presence of the poison, no general and 
energetic effort is made to resist its action, and conse- 
quently, the physiological operaiions and results of the 
stomach and other organs of the body, are not at any 
time, so powerfully affected by the tobacco; though they 
are continually suffering, to some extent, from its delete- 
rious influence. 

§902. Hence, therefore, when the physiological 
properties and powers of the human system, are in the 
most perfectly healthy and pure and vigorous state, the 
disturbances of one special economy of the system, will 
most powerfully affect the physiological operations and 
results of another special economy. — Moreover, in such a 
state of things, the extent to- which the physiological 
operations of the system, deviate from normal results, 
under the action of disturbing causes, must always be 
proportionate to the force of the disturbing cause, and 
the physiological power of the disturbed economy. 

§ 903. It therefore, clearly and necessarily follows, that 
the greatest deviations from normal results in the repro- 
ducing economy of the human system, could only be 
effected by the influence of disturbing causes, in the early 
generations of the human species, when the constitutional 
powers were little impaired, and all the vital susceptibil- 
ities and sympathies of the system still nicely delicate 
and vigorously active. — Abortive and puny and deform- 
ed results are infinitely more numerous in the more de- 
generate state of the constitution: but great deviations 
from the regular results of the economy, and enormous 
monstrosities are only to be expected from the disturb- 
ances of the most vigorous physiological powers. 

§ 964. It is also a fact of great interest and importance 


to the subject before us, that in the primitive generations 
of the species, when the human constitution was little 
impaired, and the physiological properties and powers of 
the system comparatively little depraved, the direct effect 
of mental and moral influence on the reproducing econo- 
my, (§303.) was vastly greater than at present. — Be- 
sides, in the earlier period of the world, when the inhab- 
itants of the earth were few^ they divided themselves 
off into families, and formed separate tribes; and, as a 
general fact, for many centuries, the members of each 
tribe formed matrimonial connexions only with their own 
tribe, or very rarely with members of other tribes: — and 
the separation and distinctness of the different tribes, 
were still further secured by the peculiar religious views 
and institutions of each tribe. Consequently, the strong- 
ly marked variations of the reproducing economy of the 
human system, in single instances, in that period, would 
almost of necessity become the heads of separate families, 
which would grow into separate tribes, and, in time, into 
separate nations; and thus, the original peculiarities of 
the variations, would naturally and inevitably be preserved 
— and perhaps increased by peculiar habits and circum- 
stances, in tribes and nations through all succeeding 
time, unless a complete amalgamation, of all the differ- 
ent tribes and nations in the earth, should be effected: — 
and this, natural affinities and many other causes would 
conspire to prevent. 

§ 965. These principles and facts, together with what 
may properly be allowed for the effects of climate and 
other circumstances, and also, the peculiar habits of dif- 
ferent families and tribes, are quite sufficient to account 
for all the varieties of the human species, at present 
existing on the earth; and also, to afford a satisfactory 
reason why those varieties may be traced back to very 

144 graham's lectures on the 

early ages. Indeed, if those varieties had not originated 
in the earliest ages, it would have been extremely difficult 
for them to be preserved. For, as the earth becomes 
more densely populated, and the borders of one nation 
fade into those of another; — and the artificial wants of 
civilized life are greatly multiplied, and lead to the exten- 
sive intercourse of nations, it is extremely difficult, if 
not impossible for one individual to become the progeni- 
tor of a separate and distinct nation or tribe. And as 
the general improvements of civilization increase and 
become extended; — and yet more especially, as a more 
truly rational and enlightened religion prevails, every 
thing tends more and more powerfully, to a gradual oblit- 
eration of all national distinctions and peculiarities, and 
to a universal blending of all the different portions of 
the human family into one great and harmonious frater- 

§966. It is therefore, with the strictest regard to the 
physiological principles and powers of the human system, 
and to those effects which, from the constitutional laws 
of things, would almost necessarily result from the action 
of disturbing or modifying causes, in different conditions 
of the human constitution, that I confidently affirm the 
truth of the position, that, the most strongly marked 
varieties of the human species, sprung from one and the 
same original stock, in the very early periods of the 
existence of the species: and that, by the natural affini- 
ties and repellances of human taste, these varieties were 
originally separated from each other, and preserved and 
strengthened in their peculiarities by the long continued 
operations of a variety of causes. 

§ 967. It is well known that, in several species of the 
lower animals varieties quite as strongly marked as any 
in the human species, have been effected by the modify- 


ing influences of cultivation, climate, &e. — In a pure 
state of nature, great uniformity in'color, size and shape 
pervades the whole species: but when any species of 
animals comes so far under the control of man, as to 
have the condition and operations of its physiological 
powers considerably affected, strongly marked variations 
from the truly normal results of the reproducing economy, 
very soon take place; and the different members of the 
species soon become of all varieties of color, and vary 
greatly in size, and very considerably in form. It is so 
common for entirely black lambs to spring from parents 
both of which are entirely white, that it is no longer a 
matter of remark; and no one thinks of denying the fact 
nor of attempting to prove that such a thing cannot be. 
Yet we frequently meet with most elaborate tissues of 
reasoning and speculation against the possibility of such 
results of the reproducing economy of the human species, 
in any condition of its physiological powers, or in any 
state of the human constitution. But these objections 
all appear to be founded on quite too partial and too lim- 
ited views of things. The objectors do not seem to 
contemplate nature in the wide range of her normal and 
abnormal capabilities, nor fully to appreciate the differ- 
ence of the effects of similar causes, in different states 
of the constitution, and different conditions of the phys- 
iological properties and powers of the human system. 

§96S. We have seen (§G97.) that there are the most 
precise and determinate relations between the organs and 
functions of the human body, and the nature and 
condition of human aliment; (§698) and it is equally 
certain that there are the most precise and determinate 
constitutional relations between the economy of nutrition 
and that of reproduction in the human system. 

§ 9G9. In order that living bodies, in their original 

VOL. II. 13 

146 graham's lectures on the 

state and condition, should produce their like (§927.) in 
perfectness of organization, size, symmetry, beauty, &c. 
it is necessary that the laws of constitution and relation 
should be exactly fulfilled in those bodies; and in order 
that the results of the reproducing economy of the human 
system, should come up to the original model of our 
species, it is only necessary that the original laws of 
constitution and relation should be exactly and permanently 

§970. The causes which modify and deteriorate the 
results of the reproducing economy in the human system, 
are many and interesting; but it is more particularly our 
present business to inquire into the influence of diet on 
these results, — and, if possible, to ascertain the compar- 
ative effects of animal and vegetable food in modifying 

§971. The interesting question (§ 512.) now recurs 
and demands solution; — Since the economy of nutri- 
tion sustains the growth of the body from birth to adult 
age, why, by the same economy, does not the body 
continue to increase in size so long as its life continues? — 
or what limits the dimensions or establishes the determin- 
ateness of the development of living bodies? 

§972. In regard to individual cases, as a general rule, 
the ordinary results of the reproducing economy, as to 
size, definition, proportions, &c. of the bcdy, greatly 
depend on the peculiarities of constitution, the physio- 
logical condition and the general organic economy of the 
immediate parents.* — But as a general physiological law 

* Peculiarity of size and shape often runs in particular families through 
several generations: and where those families become separated from 
the rest of the species, and intermarry among themselves and originate 
separate tribes, as in the early periods of the world, (§964.) these 
peculiarities will be perpetuated for centuries; and especially if they be 


of the species, the development, proportions, size, sym- 
metry, and termination of growth, as well as the natural 
termination of the life of the human body, are unques- 
tionably connected with the relative proportion and con- 
ditions of the solids and fluids in the system. (§684.) 
— Whatever changes the relative conditions of the solids 
and fluids from the true constitutional character, necessa- 
rily impairs the processes and results of the vital 
economy; (§690.) and whatever changes the relative 
proportion of the solids and fluids, more rapidly than is 
strictly consistent with the physiological interests of the 
system, necessarily produces similar effects. (§691.) — 
When the relative proportion and conditions of the sol- 
ids and fluids, by whatever cause, are brought into a 
certain state, the growth ceases, whether the body is 
fully developed in size, proportions and symmetry or 
not: — and when this effect is produced by greatly hurried 
and imperfect processes in the physiological operations, 
from the action of disturbing or irritating or even too 
accelerating causes, the results will be commensurately 
imperfect and perhaps deformed. (§ 924.) 

§ 973. It is from this physiological law that the use of 

of a character which is favored by the situation and habits of the 
people. And even in the midst of other society, and without any 
exclusiveness of marriage connexions, such peculiarities are often 
preserved in particular families for three or four generations. " In 
Samson county, North Carolina," says the Rev. Thomas P. Hunt of that 
State, " the people generally, are above the ordinary size and several 
families are remarkably large. One family of the name of Murphy has 
six or seven sons measuring six feet and six inches, and one of them 
measures six feet and seven inches. Another family by the name of 
Holmes is equally remarkable for stature. Twelve young men of this 
family weighed thirty-two hundred and seventy-five pounds. A family 
by the name of Preston in the western part of Virginia exhibits the same 
giant size of body." 

148 graham's lectures on the 

opium and other substances in the mother, often dwarfs 
and deforms the offspring: and it is upon this principle, 
that excesses in particular vices in early youth, often 
prematurely arrest the growth of the body, and bring on 
an untimely old age and early decrepitude and death. 

§974. Now then, from the constitutional laws and 
relations of the vital economy of the human body, which 
have been fully explained, in reference to the subject 
before us, (§884. — 973.) it must be clearly evident that 
animal food — or flesh-meat cannot be so conducive, as 
proper vegetable food, to the perfect development, 
symmetry and comeliness of the body. — Because, animal 
food, possessing a greater proportion of stimulating power 
to its quantity of nutrient matter, (§916.) more rapidly 
exhausts the vital properties and wastes the substance of 
the organs, (§91 9.) — and accelerates all the functions of 
the system and renders the vital changes- less complete, 
and the general results of the vital economy less perfect. 

§975. There is no law of organic life, extending over 
the whole animal and vegetable kingdoms, which is more 
general and more certain than this. The slower the 
growth of organic bodies, consistently with the perfectly 
healthy and vigorous condition and action of the vital 
powers, the more complete are the vital processes, and 
the more perfect and symmetrical is the general develop- 
ment. — Indeed, this law, or one very analogous to it, 
extends throughout the material world, and governs the 
formation of all material bodies. Even the crystals of 
the mineral kingdom which are formed most slowly, and, 
as it were, in the undisturbed tranquillity and serenity of 
nature, are the most perfect and the most beautiful. 

§976. In the vital economy of the human body, we 
have seen (§916. — 926.) that all the changes concerned 


in the nourishment and development of the system, are 
the most healthfully slow and complete (§746.) when 
the food is purely vegetable; and it therefore, must 
follow from every known physiological principle in the 
human constitution,' that, all other things being equal, a 
pure and well-chosen vegetable diet is most conducive to 
completeness of bodily development, and perfectness of 
symmetry and beauty. (§ 940.) 

§ 977. In illustrating these principles from the history 
of the human species however, a thousand difficulties, as 
we have seen, (§ 882.) lie in our way, which require the 
exercise of the most constant and cautious and rigorous 
inspection, to prevent our being betrayed into the 
apprehension of erroneous facts, and led to false conclu- 
sions. (§S97.) For in a cursory survey of the extended 
history of man, we meet with innumerable phenomena 
which are in the highest degree calculated to deceive us. 
(§912.) — We find perhaps, many living mostly or 
entirely on vegetable food, who are far from being well- 
developed and symmetrical; and we seem to be forced 
to the conclusion that vegetable food is by no means 
favorable to the most perfect development of the human 
body. But it is entirely certain that if we examine such 
cases with close and severe and thorough scrutiny, we 
shall find in the condition, circumstances and habits of 
such people, causes more than sufficient to account for 
all the apparent contradiction between the physiological 
principles which I have explained, and the phenomena 
presented by such cases. (§776. — 77S.) Again, we 
find perhaps, many subsisting mostly or entirely on 
animal food, who are large in size and at least quite as 
symmetrically formed as most other portions of the 
human family. Here again we seem forced to conclusions 
adverse to the physiological principles which I have 

150 graham's lectures on the 

advanced. But here again, a full and accurate investi- 
gation of tha matter, will clearly show that there are no 
real facts in the case, which are not perfectly consistent 
with the principles contended for. — Nay, indeed, the more 
extensively and rigorously we push our researches and 
investigations, and the more clearly and distinctly we 
ascertain the truth, the more fully shall we be convinced 
of the accuracy of those principles. 

§ 978. Ancient history gives us accounts of a few 
tribes scattered over Europe and other parts of the 
earth's surface, and situated mostly upon the borders of 
seas, rivers, &c. who subsisted mainly or entirely on 
flesh or fish, or both. But we are not sufficiently well 
informed concerning them to draw any safe conclusions 
from any known facts which their cases present. We 
are therefore, obliged to take our illustrations from those 
authentic, detailed accounts of tribes and nations subsist- 
ing mostly or entirely on animal food, which are of a 
much more recent date. The celebrated voyager 
Captain Cook is one of the earliest and most valuable 
sources of information on this interesting subject, of 
modern times; and since him, many enterprising voyagers 
and travellers have corroborated his statements, and very 
greatly extended our means of information. 

§ 979. Professor Lawrence, who probably eats flesh 
himself, and who is willing that every body else should 
eat it, and therefore is neither by theory nor practice 
interested to decry the use of animal food, yet being 
willing as a public teacher t)f physiological science, to 
avow what he believes to be true, frankly acknowledg- 
es (§ 859. Note) that, " the Laplanders, Samoides, 
Ostiacs, Tungooses, Burats and Kamtschadales, in 
northern Europe and Asia, as well as the Esquimaux in 
the northern, and the natives of Terra del Fuego, in the 


southern extremity of America, although they live almost 
entirely on flesh, and that often raw, are the smallest, 
weakest and least brave people of the globe." 

§ 980. Dr. Lamb, of England, whose experiments 
and researches on this subject have been very extensive, 
has collected and published a great number of valuable 
facts concerning the effects of vegetable food in chronic 
disease, and the comparative effects of vegetable and 
animal food in the development of the human body. 
From an interesting work of his, which has recently 
fallen into my hands, T shall borrow largely for the illus- 
tration of those physiological principles which I have 
advanced in relation to the subject before us. 

a. " The Laplanders subsist principally on animal 
food; and we are informed by those who have travelled 
and resided among them, ' that they are feeble, awkward 
and helpless beings.' " 

6. " The inhabitants of the Andeman Islands, situated 
in the Pacific Ocean," says Dr. Lambe, "practise no 
sort of agriculture; — they inhabit the coast; — their only 
vegetable food is the scanty produce of the woods; — 
but their principal subsistence is drawn from fish — shell- 
fish, and the animals they catch in the woods. They 
seldom exceed five feet in stature, their limbs are dispro- 
portionately slender and ill-formed, with high shoulders 
and large heads: their aspect is extremely uncouth." 

c. " The Ostiacs are the Tartar tribes inhabiting the 
regions watered by the Obi. They subsist mostly by 
fishing; though a portion of their food is the produce of 
the chase. ' The greater number of them,' says Pallas, 
' are rather below the middle stature. They are not 
strong: — the leg is particularly thin and with a small 
calf. Their figure is, in general, disagreeable; and the 
complexion pale, without any characteristic trait.' ' 

152 Graham's lectures on the 

d. " The natives of Van Dieman's Land and of New 
Holland, subsist chiefly on flesh and fish. They are 
disproportioned in their limbs and in other respects, and 
have less strength than Europeans."* 

e. " The natives of the coast of New Holland are," 
says Mr. Goldsmith, " perhaps the most miserable of the 
human species. "f 

/. " The tribes on the coast of Terra del Fuego, have 
a very scanty supply of vegetables, but subsist mainly 
on fish and some flesh. ' Their shoulders and chest,' 
says Foster, 'are large and bony; — 'the rest of their body 
is so thin and slender, that on looking at their different 
parts separately, we could not persuade ourselves, that 
they belonged to the same individuals. They are a short, 
squat race with large heads; — their color yellowish 
brown, — their features harsh, — their faces broad, — their 
cheek bones high and prominent, — their nose flat, — their 
nostrils and mouth large, and the whole countenance is 
without meaning. They are remarkably stupid. Besides 
fish, there is the greatest abundance of birds and animals 
which gain their food from the ocean. Some of the 
islands are absolutely covered by these animals, which 
may be killed in any numbers, with greatest ease: and if 
animals such as these, were proper food for man, these 
islanders would be rioting in abundance and luxury. 
But, instead of this, they are very few in number; and 
as Captain Cook says, a little, ugly, half-starved race. "J 

§931. The Indians of Patagonia, and of the great Pam- 
pas or plains of South America, (§ 7SS.) seen) to form the 
most remarkable exception to the general rule in regard 
to flesh-eating tribes and nations. The earliest accounts 
which we have of the Patagonians, describe them as 

*Lambe's Reports, pp. 204, 205. t Manners and Customs of all 
Nations. % Lambe"s Reports, p. 207. 


almost a race of giants; — some of them measuring ten 
or eleven feet, and being, on the average, much taller 
than any other known portion of the human family, and 
every way well proportioned. These accounts however, 
are undoubtedly great exaggerations, and very for excjed 
the truth. But admitting that much which has been said of 
them by different voyagers and travellers which have been 
among them, is true, they are far from constituting a very 
strongly outstanding fact against my theory. It is 
unquestionably true that these people have subsisted 
mainly on flesh ever since they have inhabited Patagonia, 
and it is unquestionably true that they are as a race, much 
larger and more symmetrical than any other known tribe 
of flesh-eaters: and perhaps, en an average, larger than 
the Hindoos who live on vegetable food. So far then, 
the facts in the case, seem to be against the doctrines 
which I have advanced. But let us examine the matter 
further. If any dependence can he placed on the opinions 
of those who have written and testified concerning this 
people, the Patagonians originally sprung from a race of 
islanders of very great bodily size and harmony of pro- 
portions, and who were strictly vegetable eaters. If 
this is true, it would naturally require a succession of 
several generations under the most unfavorable circum- 
stances and diet of savage life to degenerate the race to 
the diminished size of other flesh-eating tribes. (§ 972.) 
But such has not been wholly the case with the Patago- 
nians. In the first place, the climate of Patagonia is 
exceedingly mild and uniform, and the atmosphere is very 
dry and salubrious. These things are in the highest 
degree favorable to the full and symmetrical development, 
and health and vigor and longevity of the human body, 
and to the multiplication of the species. In the second 
place, their children nurse long, and wear no clothes till 

154 Graham's lectures on the 

they are twelve or fifteen years old; and as soon as they 
are of sufficient age and size, they engage in the sports 
of childhood, and take a great deal of exercise in the 
open air, — running, — exerting the upper limbs, — riding 
on horseback, &c. These things are all of them, like- 
wise, in tli3 highest dagree favorable to the full and sym- 
metrical development of the human body. The adult 
Patagonians perform little or no servile labor; but the 
food on which they subsist, is sufficiently scarce and 
difficult of attainment to require a very considerable 
degree of physical and mental exercise. They ride a 
great deal on horse: jack and indulge much in social 
amusement. — They have been taught by civilized man, 
to love tobacco and intoxicating liquors, but are very 
rarely able to indulge themselves in the use of these 
pernicious substances; — certainly not enough to produce 
any general and permanent physiological effect in their 
bodies, worthy of consideration. They use no other pure 
stimulants. (§743.) Their food is perfectly plain and 
simple. They mount their horses, pursue and take their 
game and return with it to their tents, where it is slightly 
cooked, eiiher by roasting or boiling, and eaten. The 
animals on which they subsist (§ 923.) contain no fat, 
and therefore the Patagonians live wholly on the lean 
flesh of wild game, which is the healthiest kind of flesh- 
meat that can be eaten. 

§ 932. With the exception therefore, of the bare 
facts that, the Patagonians subsist on flesh and are not 
careful to keep their bodies clean, every thing in their 
condition and circumstances, and nearly every thing in 
their habits, are decidedly and highly favorable to the full 
development and perfect symmetry of their bodies; and 
consequently, if flesh-meat were favorable to the physior 
logical interests of the human body, the Patagonians must 


naturally have at least, retained the size and symmetry of 
their progenitors. But after making a liberal allowance 
for the exaggerations of the earliest accounts of the Pata- 
gonians, it is very evident that they were a much larger 
and better formed race when first discovered, than at 
present. For they have always been described by those 
who first went among them, as a gigantic race of people. 
But according to the testimony of Messrs. Amies and 
Coan, the American missionaries who have recently 
spent three months among them, the present inhabitants 
of Patagonia, fall very considerably short of the descrip- 
tions given of their ancestors some two or three hundred 
years back. They are still a tall and tolerably well 
formed people; but the missionaries found on measur- 
ing the very tallest of them, that they did not exceed six 
feet and two inches in height, and kw of them came up 
to this. " They are evidently," says Mr. Armes, "a 
degenerated race of men and are still becoming more 

§ 983. The whole truth then concerning the Patago- 
nians seems to be plainly this. They sprung from a race 
of gigantic and well formed vegetable-eaters, — they have 
always inhabited a mild climate and lived in a dry and 
salubrious atmosphere; and all the circumstances of their 
lives and nearly all their habits have been highly condu- 
cive to the full development and the symmetry of their 
bodies. Yet, in spite of all these advantages, they have 
in consequence mainly if not entirely, of living exclusive- 
ly on flesh, gradually degenerated in size and symmetry: 
— for although they are still tolerably well formed, yet 
there is among them none of those perfectly symmetri- 
cal and beautiful models for statuary which are common 
among vegetable-eaters in the rude state of life. 

§934. In contemplating the effect of pure vegetable 

156 graham's lectures on the 

diet in the development and symmetry of the human 
body, it is necessary, as I have repeatedly remarked, 
(§SS2. &c.) to be exceedingly on our guard lest we be 
deceived by the numerous disturbing and modifying 
causes which almost universally operate in the various 
conditions of mankind. (§778.) 

§985 As we have already seen, (§779.) all the an- 
cient histories and traditions of our species, inform us 
that vegetable substances constituted the whole food of 
the primitive inhabitants of the earth: and that the human 
race at that early period, were exceedingly vigorous, 
athletic, of full development and symmetrical. I am 
however, by no means inclined to assert and vindicate 
the notion, that our first parent, when compared with the 
present inhabitants of the earth was a huge giant, nor that 
his immediate posterity were of mammoth size. There 
may have been, in the earliest generations of our spe- 
cies, when the physiological powers of the human body 
were most vigorous and least impaired, some wonderful 
monstrosities in size, as well as in other respects, pro- 
duced by some of the freaks of nature, under the action 
of disturbing causes peculiar to those times. (§903.) 
Nor does the fact that no such mammoth remains of man 
have been discovered, prove that no such mammoth forms 
of man ever existed. Neither, as we have seen, (§941.) 
does the fact that other animals, found in what is com- 
monly called a state of nature, may often be considerably 
improved in size and symmetry and many other qualities 
by cultivation, afford the unequivocal evidence of analogy 
that the original size and symmetry of man were such as 
to admit of considerable improvement by cultivation: — 
because, with very few exceptions indeed, if any, it is a 
matter of entire uncertainty whether any of the animals 
at present inhabiting the earth's surface, are truly and 


perfectly in their original state of nature. The horse 
for instance, had originally some native spot, whose cli- 
mate and soil and productions were best adapted to the 
physiological interests of his nature. If therefore, the 
horse species become dispersed over the globe, climate 
and other circumstances, must necessarily so affect their 
physiological powers, as in time, considerably to dimin- 
ish the size and impair the symmetry and other qualities, 
of different portions of the species, and thus produce 
strongly marked varieties of the same species. If then, 
we take some of the most degenerate varieties of 
this species of animals, and, by cultivation greatly im- 
prove their size, symmetry and other qualities, the fact 
affords no unequivocal evidence of analogy that the ori- 
ginal form of man admitted of similar improvement. 

§ 986. I do not pretend to know, nor shall I contend 
that, the original size of man very much exceeded the 
average size of the race for two or three thousand years 
past: — but I insist upon it that we have every reason to 
believe (§ 927.) that the original form of man was per- 
fectly symmetrical and beautiful, — and that if all the 
physiological laws, of human nature were perfectly and 
permanently fulfilled, the symmetry and beauty of the 
original model would be preserved in the posterity; 
(§ 9G9.) — and that a well-chosen vegetable diet is more 
conducive to such effects than animal food or flesh-meat. 
(§ 974.) — The sacred scriptures, in at least one instance, 
clearly and fully set forth this same doctrine. 

§ 987. During the Babylonish captivity of the Jews, 
Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, commanded one of 
his officers to select from the children of Israel, a num- 
ber of such as had no blemish, (§933.) but were well- 
favored and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowl- 
edge, and understanding science, and such as had ability 

VOL. II. 14 

158 graham's lectures on the 

in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they 
might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. 
And the king appointed them a daily provision of the 
king's food, and of the wine which he drank; so nour- 
ishing them three years, that at the end thereof, they 
might stand before the king. Among the number thus 
selected, were Daniel and his three friends, best known 
by the names, Shadrach, Meshaeh and Abed-nego. But 
Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile 
himself with the portion of the king's food- nor with the 
wine which he drank. Therefore he requested of the 
king's officer that he might not be obliged to partake of 
the royal provisions. But the officer replied: — I fear 
my lord the king who hath appointed your food and ypur 
drink; for why should he see your faces worse looking 
than the children which are of your sort? — then shall ye 
make me endanger my head to the king. Daniel said to 
the offit(/t, Prove us, I beseech thee, ten days; and let 
them givy us pulse to eat and water to drink, then lot our 
countenances be compared with the countenances of 
those that eat of the portion of the king's food, and as 
thou seest, deal with us. So the officer complied with 
Daniel's request, and proved him and his three friends, 
ten days: and at the end of the ten days, their counte- 
nances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh, than all the 
children which did eat the portion of the king's food. 
So the officer took away the portion of the food and the 
wine appointed for their sustenance, and gave them pulse. 
And God gave the four children knowledge, and skill in 
all learning and wisdom: and when the time arrived for 
them to appear before the king, they were brought into 
his presence and the king communed with them: — and 
among them all, was found none like Daniel and his three 
friends, therefore stood they before the king: — and in all 


matters of wisdom and understanding that the king in- 
quired of them, he found them ten times better than all 
the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm. 
And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king 

§ 98S. The lovers of flesh, with an intention to dodge 
the obvious infere .ce of this statement, assert that a miracle 
was performed in the case: — because, say they, no kind 
of food could naturally produce such a very marked 
effect in so short a time. — To this I reply, that the case 
presents no necessity for a miracle; and affords no evi- 
dence of a miracle, and it is contrary to all sound rules 
of Biblical interpretation, to assume the fact of a miracle 
where both the necessity for and evidence of one are 
wanting. — There is no evidence in the case, that any 
considerable change took place in the appearance of 
Daniel and his three friends in the ten days, during which 
they were proved: — but all the evidence in the case leads 
us naturally to the conclusion, that Daniel and his three 
friends had long, if not always subsisted on pulse and 
water or a diet of a similar kind, and that now instead 
of adopting a new diet, they simply continued on their 
previous habit of living, ii which they were indebted for 
that remarkable fairness and comeliness, as well as wisdom 
and understanding for which they were at first selected by 
the king's officer: and at the end of the ten days, they had 
perhaps, somewhat improved, by special care, in the fair- 
ness and plumpness and comeliness of their countenance 
for which they were distinguished when first selected; — 
whilst the rest of the selected Jews making a considerable 
change in their diet, — at the end of the first ten days, 
probably did not appear so well for it; and thus produced 

* Daniel i. 3—21. 

160 graham's lectures on the 

a stronger contrast between their countenances and those 
of Daniel and his three friends. — But if a miracle, be 
admitted in the case, it only goes still more strongly if 
possible, to establish the principles for which I contend, 
for it proves the divine authority for the truth of those 
principles by miraculous evidence. 

§ 939. It is not however, necessary for us to seek 
for illustrations of these principles in the history of 
ancient times. — The facts of modern history are suffi- 
cient for all our purposes. Let us contemplate them 
for a few minutes, as collected and arranged, by Dr. 
Lambe; — remembering however, that the statements 
which he makes, relate to a condition of things which, 
in many instances, has undergone a considerable change 
within a few years past. 

a. "The natives of Otaheite," says Dr. Lambe, 
" though they use both flesh and fish in moderate quan- 
tities, draw their principal subsistence directly from 
the soil; — practising agriculture in no mean degree of 
perfection. Of all the food of these people, it has 
been said, that, at least four-fifths was vegetable; and 
a large portion of that, was unchanged by culinary 
preparations. Dr. Foster gives the following descrip- 
tion of the bodily organization of the better sort of these 
islanders. ' The features of the face, were generally 
regular, soft, and beautiful: — the nose something broad 
below; — the chin is overspread and darkened by a fine 
beard. — The women have an open, cheerful countenance; 
— a full, bright and sparkling eye; — the face more round 
than oval; — the features arranged with uncommon sym- 
metry, and heightened and improved by a smile which 
beggars all description. The rest of the body above 
the waist, is well proportioned, — included in the most 
beautiful, soft outline; and sometimes extremely feminine. 


The common people are likewise, in general, well-built 
and proportioned, but more active; and with limbs and 
joints delicately shaped. The arms, hands, and fingers 
of some, are so exquisitely delicate and beautiful that 
they would do honor to a Venus de Medicis.'* 

b. " The inhabitants of the Marquesas are acknowl- 
edged by the current testimony of all voyagers, to be a 
still more beautiful race. And it may be said in general, 
of the inhabitants of the other Society Islands, — the 
Friendly Islands — Tanna — New Caledonia — the Sand- 
wich Islands — (in all of which, the natives subsist chiefly 
on vegetables,) that they have a bodily organization of a 
high degree of perfection." 

c. " Judging from the accounts of all navigators who 
have visited the Friendly and Society Isles, ' I am in- 
clined to think,' says a recent voyager, ' that the people 
of the Marquesas and Washington Islands, excel in 
beauty and grandeur of form, — in regularity of features, 
and of color, all the other South Sea Islanders. — The 
men are almost all tall, robust and well made. We did 
not see a single cripple nor deformed person: but such 
general beauty and regularity of form, that it greatly 
excited our astonishment. Many of them, might very 
well have been placed by the side of the most celebrated 
masterpieces of antiquity, and they would have lost noth- 
ing by the comparison. One man — a native of Nukahi- 
wa, whom we carefully measured, corresponded perfectly, 
in every part, with the Appollo Belvidere. The food 
of these people consists of bread-fruit, cocoa-nuts, bana- 
nas, yams, battatas, &c, and a natural state. "f 

§ 990. Dr. Lambe has also with great propriety in- 
stituted a comparison between tribes living nearly in the 

* Lambe's Reports, pp. 208, 209. + lb. pp. 212—214. 

162 graham's lectures on the 

same climate, and with no other difference of general 
condition and hahit than in what concerns their food. 

a. "We may select for this purpose," says he, " the New 
Zealanders and New Hollanders. Both of these nations 
are destitute of domestic animals; — both draw a considera- 
ble portion of their subsistence from the sea; and both live 
in a climate sufficiently mild, and nearly equally removed 
from the equator. But the New Zealander cultivates 
the soil, from which he draws perhaps one half of his 
subsistence. The New Hollander uses no vegetables 
except what he picks up accidentally, the spontaneous 
produce of the earth. A few berries, the yam and fern- 
root, the flowers of the different banksias with at times 
some honey, make up his whole catalogue of substances 
from the vegetable kingdom. The whole quantity is of 
course very small. — The consequence is, the ~Ne\v Zea- 
lander enjoys a good organization but the New Hollan- 
der is defective. Their size, says Dr. Foster, of the 
former, is generally tall; their body strong and formed for 
fatigue: — their limbs proportioned and well knit. Of 
the latter, Collins testifies, that, in general — indeed al- 
most universally, the limbs of these people were small; 
of most of them, the arms, legs and thighs were very 

b. " The Calmucks and the Circassians are not re- 
mote from each other, but wonderfully different in their 
form and physiogomy. The portrait of the former is 
thus drawn by Dr. Clarke. Nothing is more hideous 
than a Calmuck. High, prominent and broad cheek 
bones; — very little eyes widely separated from each 
other; — a flat, and broad nose; — coarse, greasy, jet-black 
hair; — scarcely any eyebrow; and enormous, prominent 
ears, compose no very inviting countenance. And so 
horrible and coarse was the appearance of the women, 


that it was difficult to distinguish the sex. Of the Circas- 
sians, we have from the pen of the same writer the 
following description. 'The beauty of features and form 
for which the Circassians have been so long celebrated, 
is certainly prevalent among them. — Their noses are 
aquiline, — their eyebrows, arched and regular, — their 
mouths, small, — their teeth are remarkably white; and 
their ears are not so large nor so prominent as among 
the Tartars: — although from wearing the head always 
shaven, they appear to disadvantage according to our 
European notions. They are well shaped and very 
active, — being generally of the middle size, — seldom ex- 
ceeding five feet eight or nine inches. Their women 
are the most beautiful perhaps, in the world; — of en- 
chanting perfection of countenance and very delicate 
features. Those whom we saw, the accidental captives 
of war, were remarkably handsome. The most chosen 
works of the best painters, representing a Hector or a 
Helen, do not display greater beauty than we beheld 
even in the prisons of Ekaterinadara, where wounded 
Circassians — male and female, loaded with fetters and 
huddled together, were pining with sickness and sor- 
row.' "* 

c. " Few will hesitate, "says Dr. Lambe, "topronounce 
that, this ugliness of the Calmucks is the natural conse- 
quence of their diet. The horse is to the Calmuck, 
what the rein-deer is to the Laplander — his slave in life, 
and his food after death. But besides horse-flesh, which 
he often eats raw, the Calmuck devours, indiscrimi- 
nately, every animal he can kill; — horses, dogs, cats, 
marrots, rats, &c. and even in a carrion state. — Of the 
Circassians we know little, except that they subsist 

* It should be remembered that the utmost attention is devoted to the 
cultivation of bodily symmetry and beauty among the Circassians. 

164 graham's lectures on the 

chiefly by agriculture. Their country is cultivated like 
a garden: — and the remarkable whiteness and regularity 
of their teeth indicate great purity both of the solid and 
fluid matter which enters into their diet. 

d. Lewis and Clark found a tribe of Indians on the 
banks of the Misssouri, called the Ricaras. They culti- 
vated the earth, and raised corn, maize, and other produce 
in quantities sufficient bcth Tor their own consumption, 
and for sale, and exchange with their neighbors. They 
drank only water. This tribe was distinguished for the 
beauty of their persons: — the men were tall and well 
proportioned and the women were tall and handsome."* 

e. " The Laplanders are of a dwarfish stature. It 
may be thought that this is the effect of the rigors of 
their polar cold. But we find interspersed among them, 
and inhabiting the very same country, numerous families 
of industrious Finns who cultivate the earth and subsist 
chiefly on its produce: — and this race, though they re- 
main for centuries in the same country, do not appear to 
be in the least smaller than the Swedes Or Norwegians. 
This difference therefore, between the Finns and the 
Laplanders must be attributed mainly or entirely to 

/. "Finally," says Dr. Lambe, "there is every reason 
to believe, and particularly from the observations of the 
navigators in the Pacific Ocean, that those races of men, 
who admit into their nutriment, a large proportion o 
fruit and recent vegetable matter unchanged by culinary 
art, have a form of body the largest, — of the most per- 
fect proportions and the greatest beauty: — that they have 
the greatest strength and activity, and probably that they 
enjoy the best health."! 

§991. The peasantry of Lancashire and Cheshire, 
* Lamb's Reports, p. 218. t lb. p. 173. 


who live principally on potatoes and buttermilk, are cele- 
brated as the handsomest race in England. Two or three 
millions of the inhabitants of Ireland subsist in the same 
way: and probably no portion of the civilized world can 
present more bodily symmetry and beauty than the peas- 
antry of Ireland who are free from the use of narcotic 
and alcoholic substances, and of temperate, cleanly and 
industrous habits. (§912. Adam Smith, in his Wealth 
of Nations, says that " the most beautiful women in the 
British dominions, are said to be, the greater part of 
them from the lower rank of people in Ireland, who are 
generally fed with the potato." 

§ 992. The interesting natives of Pitcairn's Island, who 
sprung from the mutineers of his Britannic Majesty's ship 
Bounty, strikingly illustrate the principles before us. 
"Yams constitute their principal food, either boiled, 
baked or mixed with cocoa-nut made into cakes, and eaten 
with molasses extracted from the tea-root. Taro-root is 
no bad substitute for bread; and bananas, plantains and 
appoi are wholesome and nutritive fruits. The common 
beverage is water; but they make a tea from the tea- 
plant, flavored with ginger, and sweetened with the juice 
of the sugar-cane. They but seldom kill a pig, — living 
mostly on fruit and vegetables. With this simple diet, 
early rising and taking a great deal of exercise they are 
subject to few diseases, and Captain Beechey says they 
are certainly a finer and more athletic race than is usually 
found among the families of mankind. The young men, 
all born on the island, were finely formed, athletic and 
handsome, — their countenances open and pleasing; indi- 
cating much benevolence and goodness of heart: — but 
the young women particularly, were objects of attraction, 
— being tall, robust and beautifully formed; their faces 
beaming with smiles, and indicating unruffled good humor. 

166 graham's lectures on the 

Their teeth are described as beautifully white, like the 
finest ivory, and perfectly regular, without a single excep- 
tion. Captain Pipon thinks that from these fine young 
men, and handsome, well formed women, there may be 
expected to arise hereafter in this little colony, a race of 
people, possessing in a high degree the physical qualifica- 
tions of great strength united with symmetry of form and 
regularity of features. " 

§ 993. " The Indians of Mexico on the Tobasco 
River," says a very intelligent gentleman, who has resided 
a number of years among them, " subsist almost entirely 
on vegetable food: — their principal article of diet is Indian 
corn. Those who abstain from the use of ardent spirit, 
are muscular and strong and among them are to be found 
models for the sculptor." 

§994. "On entering the cottage of the Hermano 
Mayor," says the author of A Year in Spain, " he came 
to the door to receive me; signed the cross over my 
head and pressed my hand in token of a welcome recep- 
tion. Like other hermits, the Hermano Mayor wore a 
large garment of coarse cloth, girded round the'middle 
with a rope, and having a hood for the head. The only 
covering of his feet, consisted of a coarse shoe of half- 
tanned leather. Yet there was something in his appear- 
ance which would have enabled one to single him out, 
at once, from a whole fraternity. He had a lofty and 
towering form, and features of the noblest mould. I 
cannot tell the dirious reader how long his beard was, — 
for after descending a reasonable distance along the chest, 
it returned to expand itself in the bosom of his habit. 
This man was such a one v as, in any dress or situation, 
a person would have turned to look at a second time; 
but as he now stood before me, in addition to the effect 
of his apostolic garment, his complexion and his eye had 


a clearness that no one can conceive, who is not familiar 
with the aspect of those who have practised a long and 
rigid abstinence from animal food and every exciting 
aliment. It gives a lustre — a spiritual intelligence to 
the countenance that has something saint-like and divine." 
§ 995. Repeatedly as I have spoken of the dangers of 
deception and misapprehension, in all investigations of 
this kind, (§776. 777. 778. 882. 897. 912. 977.) I am 
so extremely unwilling to be misled, or to mislead any 
one, that I feel constrained again to remark that a great 
variety of modifying causes are to be taken inttrconsid- 
cration, when we attempt to test physiological principles, 
by the apparent facts of human experience and history. 
Some of those causes are detected with great difficulty: 
and it is still more difficult to estimate their true force 
with exactness and certainty. — As I have already re- 
marked, (§882.) no considerable portion of the human 
family has ever adopted and permanently pursued a mode 
of living which in all respects was regulated by correct 
physiological principles; and therefore, no human expe- 
rience can justly be considered as a full and fair test of 
such principles. Nevertheless, the principles themselves 
may be ascertained with entire certainty. The facts 
which have been adduced as evidence on the topic before 
us, are all of them to be regarded as in some measure, 
mixed results. Flesh-eating is not to be considered as 
the exclusive cause of all the physical and physiological 
facts in the history of those who subsist on animal food: 

other causes, favorable or unfavorable (§777.) to the 

physiological interests of the human constitution, univer- 
sally, and in some instances powerfully co-operate: — 
and all this is true of those who subsist on vegetable 
food. Human history as it is, therefore, when taken in 
the detail, is of little value to physiological science. Yet 

168 graham's lectures on the 

when taken in its general average, and correctly estimated, 
its evidence becomes very conclusive. If we contem- 
plate flesh-eating tribes and nations, we find some indi- 
viduals comparatively small and some comparatively large 
— some comparatively ill-formed and some comparatively 
well-formed: and if we turn our attention to vegetable- 
eating nations we find the same facts. If also we compare 
vegetable-eaters with flesh-eaters in the detail, we find 
some of the former smaller and less symmetrical than 
some of the latter, and the contrary: and from such views 
we are led to conclude that nothing is to be proved from 
human experience in regard to the natural dietetic char- 
acter of man, except that he is made to eat every thing 
with equal advantage. Yet when we take a general 
view, and compare average results, we find a manifest 
difference, and the evidence becomes perfectly conclu- 
sive. — We find that taking all flesh-eating tribes and 
nations together, though some of thern whose circum- 
stances and habits are most favorable to the physiologi- 
cal interests of the human constitution, are comparative- 
ly large and well-formed, yet as a general average, they 
are a comparatively small and ill-formed race; and even 
the very best of them never approach to any thing like 
complete and perfect bodily symmetry. — And we find 
that, taking all vegetable-eating nations together, though 
many of them, from their excessive use of narcotics 
(§973.) and from other bad habits and unfavorable cir- 
cumstances, (§912.) are comparatively small and ill- 
formed, yet as a general average, they are a larger and 
much better formed race than the flesh-eaters; — and it 
is only among those tribes and nations whose general 
habits are simple and temperate and who subsist on a 
pure vegetable and water diet that the most perfect spe- 
cimens of human symmetry and beauty are found: — and 


here they are very numerous, and deformity is very 
rare. (§1040.) 

§ 99G. It is unquestionably true that, if an individual be 
fed on flesh with a regimen in all other respects correct — 
and if from infancy up to manhood he be carefully trained 
with reference to bodily development and symmetry and 
beauty, he will be much better formed than one who 
subsists wholly on vegetable food but whose habits and 
circumstances are in most or all other respects unfavora- 
ble to the symmetrical development of his body. But 
all other things being equal, it is entirely certain that, as 
a permanent fact extending from generation to generation, 
pure, well-chosen vegetable food will better sustain the 
human constitution in all its powers, and more healthful- 
ly and symmetrically develop the body, than a diet con- 
sisting of any portion of flesh-meat. (§ 926.) 


Comparative effects of vegetable and animal food on the human body, 
with reference to suppleness, activity, agility, vigor, ability to endure 
protracted efforts, &c. &c. — Relative proportion and conditions of 
the solids and fluids with reference to suppleness, activity, &c. &c. 
— Causes that render the solids rigid and unyielding — Comparative 
rapidity of the pulse in flesh and vegetable eaters — Illustrations of 
suppleness — various instances — Qualifying causes — Vegetable and 
animal food in relation to strength — Mechanical and physiological 
elements of voluntary power — Nervous stimulus of voluntary action — 
Relations between the functions of the arterial system and the physio- 
logical power of voluntary action — Law of muscular development 
and action — Permanency of the power of voluntary action — Quali- 
fying circumstances and conditions — Training of the ancient athletaj 
— Strength of the lion and rhinoceros — Jewish, Persian, Greek and 
VOL. II. 15 

170 graham's lectures on the 

Roman soldiers — Russian and Polish soldiers — Peruvian soldiers, 
native Indians, &c. — Natives of India generally — The Hindoos, 
their dietetic and other habits, their general condition — Hindoos from 
the mountains and Hindoo couriers — The Burmese, their habits, &c. 
— Chinese — their dietetic and other habits, &c. — Egyptians — their 
dietetic and other habits — Natives of interior Africa — Natives of 
Pitcairn's Island — Spaniards of South America — Porters and labor- 
ors of various countries and islands — Irish porters and coal-heavers — 
Porters of Smyrna — John of Thessaly — Benjamin Howland — Brind- 
ly, the English engineer's testimony — General conclusion. 

§ 997. Still pursuing the physiological evidence in 
relation to the natural dietetic character of man, we are 
next led to contemplate the comparative effects of 
vegetable and animal food on the human body, with 
reference to suppleness, activity, agility, vigor, ability to 
endure protracted effort, &c. &c. 

§ 998. We have seen, (§ 146.) that all the solids of the 
human body are formed from fluids: — that in the early 
stage of infancy the solids are extremely soft and pulpy 
and the proportion of the fluids is very great to that of 
the solids, (§684.) — and that, as life advances, even 
under the strictest obedience of the physiological laws of 
the system, the solids gradually become more consistent, 
dry and rigid; and the proportion of the solids gradually 
increases on that of the fluids; (§ 688.) and the cartilages, 
(§185.) ligaments, (§188.) and tendons (§195.) by 
degrees become more dry and hard and less flexible and 
elastic, and the muscles more rigid and unyielding: (§200.) 
and hence the body, which in childhood is exceedingly 
supple and nimble and elastic, becomes stiff and clumsy 
and inelastic in old age. 

§ 999. Now it is very obvious that the more rapidly 
we hasten on these changes, (§ 691.) the sooner the 
body loses its suppleness and elasticity and becomes stiff 

id unyielding: and hence, habitual spirit drinkers and 


those who indulge freely in the various stimulants and 
heating condiments which so greatly abound and are 
considered so essential to comfort and almost to existence, 
in civic life, become stiff and clumsy much earlier in life 
than those who refrain from the use of such things. 

§1000. It is a general physiological law therefore, 
that the more stimulating and heating the diet, the more 
rapidly the changes in the relative proportion and 
conditions of the solids and fluids take place, — the more 
rapidly the solids become dry, inflexible, inelastic, rigid 
and unyielding, and the body loses its suppleness and 
activity. Hence flesh-meat is not so conducive to supple- 
ness, agility, grace, &c. as proper vegetable food. (§919.) 

§1001. Scientific experiment has fully proved that, 
much more of the oxygen of the atmosphere is consumed 
in respiration, (§482.) by the same individual, during 
the digestion of flesh-meat, than during the digestion of 
proper vegetable food: and the temperature of the 
stomach is considerably higher (§434.) in the former 
case than in the latter. And, as we have seen, (§919.) 
it is a fully ascertained fact of great interest and impor- 
tance that, the most hale, vigorous, active and athletic 
men who habitually subsist on pure vegetable food and 
water, have a much cooler skin and a much slower pulse 
than those who live on a mixed diet of vegetable and 
animal food. — It was found on careful and repeated 
examination in different parts of the day, that the skin 
of the remarkably healthy and robust young men of 
Pitcairn's Island, always felt cold in comparison with that 
of the Europeans: and that the pulse of the former was 
from ten to twenty beats in a minute slower than that of 
the latter. (§ 992.) 

§ 1002. According to every known physiological 
principle therefore, we are led to the conclusion from 

172 graham's lectures on the 

a priori reasoning, that, proper vegetable food is more 
conducive to the suppleness, activity, agility, and grace- 
fulness of the human body than flesh-meat: — and all facts 
in the history of man, in relation to this point, when prop- 
erly ascertained, will be found to agree most strictly with 
the physiological principles which I have advanced. — In- 
deed, this is so obviously true that it is hardly neces- 
sary to adduce any facts in exemplification of it. I shall 
therefore present but a few. 

§ 1003. "A mulatto girl," says George Paine, Esq., 
of Providence, R. I.,* "came to live in my family in 
iier twelfth year: — previously to this, she had remained at 
home with her parents, who were very poor. She had 
always lived in the plainest, simplest, and coarsest 
manner. During her summers she had subsisted almost 
entirely upon fruit in its natural state; and through the 
whole year she ate very little except the plainest vegetable 
food. — On very rare occasions she ate a little flesh; but 
not enough to render it, in any proper sense, a part of 
her diet. She drank water exclusively and slept on 
straw. When she first came to live with me her 
suppleness, activity, agility and strength so far exceeded 
any thing that we had ever seen before in such a child, 
that she absolutely filled us with astonishment by her feats. 
Of her own accord she was up in the morning as soon as 
it was light, and wherever she went she always went 
upon the run, and with the nimbleness and fleetness of a 
deer. In all her movements she exhibited uncommon 
natural ease and gracefulness; and in her muscular efforts, 
she evinced a surprising degree of strength. She would, 
for our amusement, often throw herself down at length 
in the grass and imitate the motions of a snake, so 
exceedingly like a snake that it sometimes gave one very 

*Tbis statement was made in 1834. Mr. Paine has since deceased. 


unpleasant feelings to look at her; and in a great variety 
of ways she exhibited the most wonderful suppleness, 
nimbleness and agility that I ever beheld in a human body. 
Her mind seemed to be as active and vigorous as her 
body. Her powers of mental apprehension and retention, 
and facetiousness and wit, were a continual source of 
surprise and amusement to us. — On coming into my 
family she began gradually to accustom herself to flesh- 
meat, and in the course of two or three months, she 
became very fond of it and ate it very freely. And to 
our astonishment, — for we could not then account for 
the change, — in less than six months, all her remarkable 
suppleness, activity and agility were gone and she had 
become exceedingly sluggish, heavy and stupid. We 
could not get her up in the morning until breakfast-time 
without special and direct means; — all her movements 
became slow, heavy and sluggish, indicating great indo- 
lence, and her mind became as stupid and inactive as 
her body: — and such she has ever remained since, being 
now fifteen years old." 

§ 1004. " I took a boy from the Alms House, in the 
year 1827," says Mr. Thomas H. Burling, of Westches- 
ter county, New York. " He was then in his thirteenth 
year, and had always before this subsisted entirely on 
vegetable food. When he first came to my house he was 
very remarkably supple and nimble; and would throw a 
somerset backwards two or three times in succession with 
great ease. I had a notion that he would be good for 
nothing to work unless he ate flesh; and so I encouraged 
and urged him to do so. He soon became fond of flesh 
and ate it freely, and in less than six weeks he became so 
clumsy that whenever he attempted to throw a somerset 
he fell like a log." 

§ 1005. The interesting young natives of Pitcairn's 

174 graham's lectures on the 

Island exhibited the same qualities in a very remarkable 
manner." "A young girl," says Captain Pipon, " ac- 
companied us to the boat, carrying on her shoulders as a 
present, a large basket of yams, over such roads, and 
down such precipices as were hardly passable by any 
creatures except goats, and over which we could scarce- 
ly scramble with the help of our hands. Yet with this 
load on her shoulders, she skipped from rock to rock like 
a young roe." Capl. Beechy testifies to the same sup- 
pleness and agility in all the youth of the island. (§ 992.) 

§ 1006. The Greek peasantry and the lazzaroni of 
Naples, who subsist on the simplest and plainest vegetable 
diet, are distinguished for their suppleness, activity and 
grace. (§ 1052.) 

§ 1007. " I returned from Greece with Captain Floyd 
in the ship Factor," says the venerable Judge Woodruff, 
of Connecticut, who went out as the Agent of the New 
York Committee for the relief of the Greeks. " There 
came over with us to New York, as one of the ship's 
crew, a Greek youth — a native of Thessaly — whom we 
called John. He was nineteen years old. He had from 
his childhood been driven about among the Turks, almost 
in the condition of a dumb beast; and subsisted on the plain- 
est, simplest and coarsest vegetable food — mostly in a natu- 
ral state, and chiefly fruit. His nimbleness and agility, far 
exceeded any thing that I ever before saw in a human be- 
ing. Without exaggeration I can truly say, that, he would 
run up and down the shrouds, and out on the yards and 
jump about on the rigging with all the nimbleness and 
rapidity of a squirrel. Indeed, his exploits of nimbleness 
upon the rigging often filled me with amazement, which 
was sometimes mingled with fear for his safety." 

§ 1008. The wild men found at different times in the 
forests in Europe, and who in their rude state subsisted 


entirely on fruits and vegetables, have all been remarka- 
ble for their natural suppleness and activity. The wild 
girl that was found in the forest, would run up trees and 
leap from branch to branch and from tree to tree, with 
the niinbleness of a squirrel: — but she lost all this remark- 
able suppleness and activity when she became accustom- 
ed to eat flesh. 

§ 1009. Benjamin Howland, Esq., of East Greenwich, 
R. I., was quite a feeble and infirm man at forty years of 
age. He abandoned the use of flesh-meat and took to a 
plain j simple and unstimulating vegetable diet. He soon 
became a healthy and remarkably active man; and now 
at the age of eighty-two,* he has more suppleness and agil- 
ity than most men at fifty. " Few young men indeed, 
walk with so quick and elastic a step as he does. When 
crossing the fields, if a fence comes in his way, instead 
of pulling it down or crawling clumsily over it, he places 
one hand on the top of it, and springs over it like an ac- 
tive youth." — The same experiment has produced the 
same result in Thomas Shillitoe, of England,! an d a 
great number of others in that country and in America, 
whom I might mention, but it is unnecessary. 

§ 1010. If we make general comparisons between 
flesh-eating and vegetable-eating tribes or nations the 
difference is very striking, and has long been a subject 
of remark by travellers. Those portions of the human 
family which subsist mostly on flesh-meat have always 
been noted for their sluggishness, their indisposition to 
action and their indocility, as well as their savage rude- 
ness: while all those portions of the human family which 
subsist on vegetable food, excepting such as are besotted 
by the habitual and excessive use of opium, tobacco, 

* This statement was written in 1834. Mr. Howland has since 
t Mr. Shillitoe has also deceased since the text was written. 

176 graham's lectures on the 

alcoholic liquor and other intoxicating substances, (§ 778.) 
have always been noted for their cheerfulness, vivacity, 
activity, gracefulness and urbanity. The natives of 
Hindostan and Java, when temperate and regular in their 
habits, are remarkable for their suppleness, dexterity, 
agility and gracefulness of movement. (§ 1036.) 

§ 1011. In regard to this topic of investigation however, 
as well as to thepreceedingone, (§ 995.) it must be remem- 
bered that there are many circumstances and modifying 
causes to be kept in view. If an individual subsists 
mostly on flesh, — drinks only water, sleeps on a hard 
bed, — spends most of his time in the open air,— has 
considerable active exercise and is always strictly tem- 
perate in the quantity of his food, he will be far more 
supple and active than one who lives in the ordinary 
mode of civic life on vegetable food and eats freely. 
However correct and pure our diet may be in quality, 
if we run to excess in quantity, we are proportionately 
less supple and active than w r e should be if we never 
exceeded the real wants of the vital economy. I once 
knew a vegetable-eater who was an expert gymnast: — 
he indulged in over-eating for about one week, and be- 
came so clumsy and lost so much muscular power that 
he could not go through his ordinary feats. He then 
fasted twenty-four hours, and without breaking his fast 
went to his gymnasium and performed all his feats with 
the greatest ease and agility. 

§ 1012. It is true also that some individuals, by con- 
stantly practising certain feats, learn to exhibit extraordina- 
ry suppleness and agility in their particular, educated modes 
of action, though they may live on a mixed diet. Never- 
theless, it is most indubitably true that, all things else 
being equal, the pure vegetable-eater is naturally and 
spontaneously more supple, elastic, nimble, active and 


graceful than the flesh-eater, or those who subsist on a 
mixed diet, and he will retain these qualities to a much 
later period in life. 

§ 1013. Among the hundreds of individuals in the 
United States, who have within five or. six years past, 
adopted a vegetable diet, in every case where temperance 
in quantity and general propriety of habits have been 
regularly and consistently observed, there has been expe- 
rienced a very considerable increase of activity, supple- 
ness and vivacity, and in numerous instances this increase 
has been remarkably great. Many a man who had begun 
to feel what he considered the stiffness and rigidity of 
old age coming upon him, has in a few months after adopt- 
ing a pure vegetable diet, found, with delight, that much 
of his youthful suppleness and activity were restored to 
him; and he has been able to cast aside his staff, and to 
forego his stiff and tardy gait, and resume the easy and 
elastic step of early life; and even to run and leap like a 

Strength, or Muscular Power. 

§ 1014. In regard to bodily strength, or power of volun- 
tary action, two classes of principles are to be consid- 
ered: viz. the mechanical and the physiological. The 
mechanical construction of the body, with reference to 
the power of voluntary action, varies greatly in different 
animals. Thus in the lion, the remarkable power of 
voluntary action in the fore limbs does not depend on any 
extraordinary endowment of the muscles of that animal, 
but on the peculiar mechanical construction of the parts, 
by virtue of which, the same contractile power in the 
muscles exerts a much greater mechanical force. Human 
bodies differ considerably in this respect. Some indi- 

17S graham's lectures on the 

viduals have such a mechanical construction of the body 
as gives them truly astonishing strength or power of volun- 
tary action, while at the same time, their muscles really 
possess no more power of vital contractility, in a given 
volume, than those of individuals of much less bodily 
strength. Individual instances of great strength there- 
fore, are not always to be considered as accurate exem- 
plifications of physiological principles. 

§1015. The object of our present inquiry (§884.) 
demands that our evidence should be purely physiological, 
and therefore, it is only to the pure physiological elements 
of voluntary power that our attention at present is to be 
directed. — These elements, as we have seen, (§ 191.) 
are the vital susceptibility and contractility of the muscles 
(§172.) and the nervous stimulus of motion. (§193.) 
All these are purely vital properties or powers, depend- 
ing on the vital constitution and condition of the tissues to 
which they belong, (§ 924.) and consequently, are neces- 
sarily affected by every thing that affects the physiologi- 
cal character and conditions of those tissues. 

§ 1016. The grand, primary physiological element of 
voluntary power of action is the vital contractility of the 
muscular tissue; and the amount or degree of contractile 
power in any muscle always depends on the perfectness 
of its vital constitution, (§ 142.) the healthiness of its 
structure and condition, its compactness and its volume. 
There are certain kinds of diet and modes of living, 
which, so long as the vital economy can sustain their 
forcing and oppressing influence, increase the general 
function of nutrition considerably beyond the real wants 
of the economy (§ 509.) and stuff out the skin and round 
out the limbs and seem very much to increase the real 
muscular fibre, when in fact the true, healthy muscular 
structure is very little increased, but, instead of it, a 


large quantity of adipose (§ 508.) or oily matter, is 
deposited in the delicate cellular tissue which surrounds 
every muscle, envelops every muscular fascicle and 
sheathes every muscular fibre: (§ 170.) and thus, the 
limbs and trunk, and particularly where the muscles are 
more collected into masses, are filled out, and become 
very plump and have the appearance of a very great 
augmentation of the real muscular substance. But such 
an increase of volume in the trunk and limbs, is so far 
from increasing the muscular power, that it always and 
necessarily diminishes it. It is only the development 
of pure, compact, healthy muscle that increases the 
power of voluntary action and continued effort in the 
human body. 

§ 1017. The second grand physiological element of 
voluntary power of action is the organic sensibility or 
susceptibility of the muscular tissue to its appropriate 
stimulus of motion, by which it is excited to contract. 
This property of the muscular tissue, like its contractility, 
depends, as we have seen, (§ 193.) on its own vital con- 
stitution or on what may properly be called the instant 
vitality of the tissue: and this instant vitality is sustained 
by the constant supply of arterial blood. (§ 192.) By 
every action of the stimulus of motion on the muscle, 
the vital susceptibility of the muscle to the action of the 
stimulus, is in some measure exhausted, and by every 
contraction of the muscle under the action of the stimulus, 
the vital contractility is in some measure exhausted: 
(§ 192.) so that., if these properties were not constantly 
replenished, the susceptibility of the muscle to the action 
of the stimulus and the contractility of the muscle 
would soon be completely exhausted. Hence if the 
supplies of arterial blood be entirely cut off from the 
muscle, its susceptibility to the action of its natural and 

180 graham's lectures on the 

appropriate stimulus is soon so much exhausted that 
contraction ceases: — hut if galvanic stimulus be brought 
to act on the muscle it again contracts for a few times, 
till its susceptibility to the action of this stimulus is 
exhausted and it again ceases to act in the utter exhaus- 
tion of all its physiological powers. — But when the sup- 
plies of pure, healthy arterial blood are constant, and 
the stimulus of motion healthy and appropriate, and its 
action not excessive, the replenishment of the vital pro- 
perties of the muscle, keeps pace with the expenditure, 
or nearly so. (§ 37G. In a perfectly healthy state and 
action of the organs of involuntary motion, (§377.) this 
equilibrium is perfect. In the organs of voluntary motion 
the expenditure somewhat exceeds the replenishment 
during their action, and hence the necessity of rest to 
these last organs. 

§ 101S. The third, grand physiological element of 
voluntary power of action is the nervous stimulus of 
motion. This stimulus, as we have seen, (§ 193.) acts 
on the vital susceptibility of the muscle and causes it to 
contract. — In powerful muscular effort therefore, great 
energy of nervous stimulus is necessary, and hence men 
in anger, in delirium or madness, in fever and when highly 
excited by intoxicating substances, and also when intensely 
stimulated by the passion of emulation, often exert a 
muscular force which they are utterly incapable of in an 
unexcited state of the system. But these violent 
excitements and actions are excessively exhausting, 
and greatly disturb the vital economy, and are always 
more or less hazardous to life. The greatest degree of 
healthy and permanent strength, requires the most perfect 
vital constitution and full development of the nervous 
tissue, and a regular and full supply of healthy and ener- 
getic vital stimulus of motion. The vital properties and 


powers of the nervous tissue, like those of the muscular, 
are in some measure expended by every vital action, and 
replenished by the constant supplies of arterial blood. 
Hence, if the arterial blood be entirely cut off from this 
tissue, its vital properties and powers will soon be wholly 
exhausted, and it will no longer supply the stimulus of 
motion to the muscles; and if the physiological character 
and condition of the blood be affected, the physiological 
powers of the nervous and other tissues of the body will 
always and necessarily be in some measure correspond- 
ingly affected. (§696.) 

§ 1019. We perceive therefore, that there are the most 
precise and determinate relations established between the 
functions of the arterial system, and the physiological 
power of voluntary action in the living animal body. A 
constant supply of fresh arterial blood is poured into the 
muscular and nervous tissues to sustain their vitality, and, 
to all necessary extent, replenish their exhausted prop- 
erties and powers, and also, to nourish their substance: 
and hence, as we have seen, (§ 393.) whenever there is 
an increased action of the muscles of a limb or any other 
part, there is an increased flow of arterial blood into the 
tissues of that part; and if the action is habitual, and if 
the duty of the part requires much muscular power, the 
unnecessary adipose matter, if any, is thrown off, (§ 510.) 
the muscle becomes compact, and the pure muscular fibre 
is considerably increased, and the limb or part becomes 
largely developed, and strongly marked with large and 
powerful muscles, as in the arm of the blacksmith and 
others of similar employment. And even in very fat and 
heavy people who walk a great deal, the muscles of the 
lower limbs become largely developed and are far more 
compact and much less loaded with adipose matter, than 
any other part of their bodies; and hence, such people 
VOL. II. 16 

182 graham's lectures on the 

are often very fleet in the foot-race; while they have 
comparatively little power for any other muscular effort. 

§ 1020. The habitual exercise of our body or limbs 
therefore, in any particular kind of employment, enables 
us to put forth more muscular power in that employment, 
or one requiring the action of the same muscles, than in 
any other. Hence, one individual may excel in the mus- 
cular powers of his arms, another, in that of the lower 
limbs, and another, in that of some other part, according 
to the nature of the regular employment of each. All 
these things must be taken into consideration, in our in- 
quiries concerning the comparative effects of animal and 
vegetable food in relation to the muscular power, or the 
power of voluntary action in the human body. 

§ 1021. Now from what has been said, (§ 1016.) we 
perceive that, in order to put forth in a single effort, very 
great muscular power, we require a full development of 
compact, healthy muscle and a full supply of healthy ner- 
vous stimulus of motion; (§ 1018.) and in order to sustain 
long-continued effort or voluntary action, with the least 
weariness, we require such a state of the muscular and 
nervous tissues and such a character and supply of the 
arterial blood, as will both effect and sustain the continued 
action of the stimulus of motion and the vigorous con- 
traction of the muscles, with the least excess of expen- 
diture (§ 1017.) over the concomitant replenishment of 
the vital properties of the tissues: and from every ascer- 
tained physiological principle, and every known fact in 
relation to this point, it is entirely certain that a diet of 
pure vegetable food and water is more conducive to this 
state of things than flesh-meat, or than a mixed diet con- 
sisting of vegetable and animal food. — Flesh-meat, as we 
have seen, (§916.) being more stimulating than proper 
vegetable aliment in proportion to the nourishment which 


it affords to the system, increases the intensity of vital 
action, (§ 919.) — precipitates the functions, — renders the 
processes of assimilation and nutrition less complete and 
the vital constitution of the organic structure less perfect, 
and increases the expenditure of all the vital powers and 
waste of organized substance, in all the vital actions of 
the system; (§ 924.) and therefore, gives to the muscular 
tissue less constitutional power of healthy and permanen 
susceptibility and vigorous contractility, and to the ner- 
vous tissue less constitutional power to furnish the due 
and regular supply of healthy and energetic vital stimulus 
of motion: and produces blood which is less adapted to 
replenish the vital properties of the tissues and sustain the 
vital actions of the organs. (§695.) 

§ 1022. It is true that a man, living like Alexander 
Selkirk on the Island of Juan Fernandez, on simple flesh 
and water, without so much as the stimulus of salt, — 
sleeping on a hard bed and taking a great deal of very 
active exercise in the open air and breathing the pure 
atmosphere of a small island in the midst of the ocean, 
without any of the debilitating habits or influences of 
civic life, will become much stronger than a vegetable- 
eater who connects with his vegetable diet almost every 
other habit, circumstance and condition, unfavorable to 
muscular power. So also, a whole tribe like the Pampa 
Indians of South America, (§ 788.) who subsist almost 
entirely on the lean flesh of mares, — are continually in the 
open and pure air of those extended plains, and from 
infancy to death, almost continually upon horse-back and 
in motion, may have much more muscular power and 
ability to endure fatigue, and especially in that kind of 
exercise to which they are most accustomed, (§ 1020.) 
than multitudes of vegetable-eating Asiatics, whose habits, 
circumstances and condition in all other respects are 

184 Graham's lectures on the 

exceedingly unfavorable to bodily vigor and activity. — 
Moreover, it is true that those who subsist on a mixed 
diet of vegetable and animal food and who systematically 
and severely train themselves for certain feats, (§ 1020.) 
will exhibit much more muscular power in those feats, than 
vegetable-eaters not trained and not accustomed to mus- 
cular effort. Nevertheless, as a general physiological 
law of the human constitution, it is entirely certain that, 
all other things being precisely equal, he who habitually 
subsists on a diet of pure and well-chosen vegetable food 
and pure water, will possess greater spontaneous muscu- 
lar power than those who subsist on animal food, or on a 
mixed diet; and he will still farther excel them in the 
ability to endure continued muscular effort: or he will 
be able to perform more labor in a given time; and to 
continue hard labor a longer time and with less exhaustion 
or weariness. 

§ 1023. When the public games of ancient Greece, 
for the exercise of muscular power and activity, in wrest- 
ling, boxing, running, &c. were first instituted, the ath- 
letae, in accordance with the common dietetic habits of 
the people, were trained entirely on vegetable food. 
" Those who were destined to this profession," says 
Rollin, " frequented from their most tender age, the 
Gymnasia or Palaestrae, which were a kind of academies 
maintained for that purpose at the public expense. In 
these places, such were under the direction of different 
masters, who employed the most effectual methods to 
inure their bodies for the fatigues of the public games, 
and to form them for the combats. The regimen they 
were under was very hard and severe. At first they had 
no other nourishment but dried figs, nuts, the recent 
curd of milk, or new cheese and boiled grain or a coarse 
kind of bread called maza. They were absolutely for- 


bidden to use wine and required to observe the strictest 
continence." Every measure was taken to keep the 
vital powers in the most healthy and vigorous state and to 
develop the most compact and powerful muscles. As 
the time of their public performances drew near, they 
were trained with increased care and industry, and were 
rubbed and exercised in such a manner as to consolidate, 
increase, and strengthen the muscles in the greatest pos- 
sible degree. In later times, after animal food had begun 
to be common among the people, and flesh-meat was 
found to be more stimulating and to render their pugilists 
and gladiators more ferocious, a portion of flesh was 
introduced into the diet of the athletae. But, according 
to the testimony of early Greek writers, it was soon found 
that the free use of this kind of aliment made them " the 
most sluggish and stupid of men;" and therefore, those 
who had the training of the athletse withheld flesh-meat 
from them entirely till a short time before their public 
performance, and then it was introduced in very small 
quantities at first and gradually increased. Yet with all 
this care, the stupefying effect of the flesh-meat was so 
manifest, and especially on the mental powers, that the 
stupidity of the athletae became proverbial. 

§ 1024. All this, it will be remembered, was done to 
prepare them for extraordinary efforts of very short dura- 
tion, and not for the ordinary and continued efforts or ex- 
ercise required in the common concerns and employments 
of life. Yet even for such purposes, it is very certain 
that the muscular power of the ancient athleta: was not 
increased by the addition of flesh-meat to their originally 
simple vegetable and water diet. — It is remarkable that 
those who are accustomed to the stimulus of flesh-meat, 
should so pertinaciously contend that it is necessary to 
produce the greatest muscular power, when it is well 

1S6 graham's lectures on the 

known that, so far as the pure physiological elements of 
the power of voluntary action are considered, vegetable- 
eating animals are stronger and are capable of greater en- 
durance than carnivorous animals. The lion it is true, 
is called " the king of beasts" — "the king of the forest," 
&c; but neither his strength nor his courage entitles him 
to this distinction. In pure muscular power the rhinoce- 
ros undoubtedly exceeds all animals now known on 
earth, and this animal subsists on the lowest order of vege- 
table food, eating the twigs, branches and limbs of trees, 
and even shivering their trunks in his terrible power and 
consuming them like grass. This animal is not more than 
half the size of an elephant, and yet a whole drove of ele- 
phants will fly with terror from the presence of a single 
rhinoceros, and every other beast shuns him with fear. 

§ 1025. It may therefore, be laid down as a general law 
in relation to the human constitution that, that food which 
is adapted to the anatomical structure and physiological 
powers and wants of our bodies, and which, from its own 
nature is longest in passing healthfully through the process- 
es of assimilation and nutrition, and which, while it affords 
a proper quantity of nourishment causes the smallest de- 
gree of exhaustion of the vital properties of the tissues 
and waste of organized substance, will sustain a man long- 
est in labor, or in continued voluntary action. And we 
have seen, (§ 921.) that in all these respects a well cho- 
sen diet of pure vegetable food and pure water, is better 
than animal food and better than a mixed diet. 

§ 1026. We have seen that, (§779.) according to all 
ancient history and tradition, the primitive generations of 
our race subsisted entirely on vegetable food, and gener- 
ally in its simplest, plainest and most natural state, and 
that they possessed far more bodily strength and ability 
to endure protracted labor, than any of their more modern 


descendants. The accounts which have come down to 
us in the writings of the most ancient historians, poets 
and philosophers, concerning the bodily strength and 
achievements of the early inhabitants of the earth, are ren- 
dered incredible to us by a comparison with what we know 
to be true of the present generations of mankind. 

§ 1027. To say nothing of the mighty warriors of still 
earlier times, the Jewish army in their conquest of the 
Promised Land, subsisting wholly on vegetable food of 
the very simplest kind, (§ 904.) performed such wonders 
that the astonished nations whom they conquered, be- 
lieved them to be endowed with supernatural power. — 
Cyrus, who raised Persia from an obscure, rude colony to 
one of the most powerful and most splendid empires that 
the world ever saw, — who performed more extraordinary 
marches, fought more battles, won more extraordinary 
victories, and exhibited more personal prowess and bodily 
power of effort and endurance, than almost any other gen- 
eral that ever lived, subsisted from childhood on the sim- 
plest and plainest diet of vegetable food and water; and 
his Persian soldiers who went with him through all his 
career of conquest, and shared with him all his hardships, 
toils and dangers, and on whom he always placed his 
main dependance in battle, and with whom he was able 
to march thousands of miles in an incredibly short time, 
and conquer armies of double the number of his own, 
were like himself, trained from childhood on bread, cress- 
es and water; and strictly adhered to the same simplicity 
of vegetable diet, throughout the whole of their heroic 
course, without relaxing from the stern severity of their 
abstemiousness, even in the hour of victory when the 
luxuries of captured cities lay in profusion around them. 
In the most heroic days of the Grecian army, their food 
was the plain and simple produce of the soil. The im- 

188 graham's lectures on the 

mortal Spartans of Thermopylae were from infancy nour- 
ished by the plainest and coarsest vegetable aliment, and 
the Roman army in the period of their greatest valor and 
most gigantic achievements, subsisted on plain and coarse 
vegetable food. — The same is true of all those ancient 
armies whose success depended more on bodily strength 
and personal prowess, in wielding war-clubs and in grap- 
pling man with man in the fierce exercise of muscular 
power, and dashing each other furiously to the earth, man- 
gled and crushed and killed, than in any of the nicer tac- 
tics and refinements in the art of war. 

§1028. It is said that after the Romans became a 
flesh-eating people, the Roman army was equally heroic 
and victorious: but it should be remembered that what- 
ever were the practices of the wealthy and luxurious 
Roman citizen, flesh-meat entered but very sparingly into 
the diet of the Roman soldier till after the days of Roman 
valor had begun to pass away; and with equal pace, as 
the army became less simple and less temperate in their 
diet they became less brave and less successful in arms. 
And it should be remembered also, that after the Romans 
had become a flesh-eating people, the success of the 
Roman army did not, as at first, depend on the bodily 
strength and personal prowess of individual soldiers, but 
on the aggregate power of well-disciplined legions, and 
on their skill in systematic war. So far as bodily 
strength and ability to endure continued voluntary action 
are considered, the Roman soldier was far the most 
powerful and heroic in Rome's earliest days when he 
subsisted on his simple vegetable food. 

§1029. The same important principles are demonstra- 
ted by the facts of modern times. " Very few nations 
in the world," says a sagacious historian, "produce bet- 
ter soldiers than the Russians." " They will endure the 


greatest fatigues and sufferings with patience and calm- 
ness;" and it is well known that the Russian soldiers 
are from childhood nourished by simple and coarse 
vegetable food. It is well known also, that among the 
bravest and most hardy and enduring soldiers that 
composed the army of Napoleon Buonaparte in his 
wonderful career of carnage and conquest, were those 
who had all their lives subsisted on a coarse vegetable 
diet. " The Polish and Hungarian peasants from the 
Carpathian mountains," says a young Polish nobleman, 
" are among the most active and powerful men in the 
world: they live almost entirely on oat-meal bread and 
potatoes. The Polish soldiers under Buonaparte," con- 
tinues he, "would march forty miles in a day and fight a 
pitched battle, and the next morning be fresh and vigorous 
for further duties." 

§ 1030. In 1823, General Valdez (a Peruvian gene- 
ral) marched to Lima with an army of native Indians, 
expecting to find General Santa Cruz with the Patriot 
army there: but learning that the enemy were advancing 
at a considerable distance, General Valdez resolved on 
meeting them as soon as possible by forced marches. 
Usually, a large number of women — the wives of the 
soldiers, and sometimes their children, accompany the 
army: and when the army moves from one place to 
another, notice is given each morning, where they will 
quarter at night; and then the women immediately start 
away (with their children and baggage if any) and when 
the army arrives at its quarters for the night, the women 
are always found upon the spot, and the supper prepared 
for the soldiers. But on this occasion General Valdez 
wishing to take the enemy by surprise, selected between 
two and three thousand men, ordered them to leave their 
women and all unnecessary baggage behind, and every 

190 graham's lectures on the 

man to fill his pockets with parched corn for his food. 
Thus prepared, he appointed each morning, the place of 
meeting and stopping for the night; and then left every 
man to make his own way as he pleased. In this 
manner, General Valdez led his army from near Lima to 
the southward of Arequipa, a distance of two hundred 
and fifty leagues, or seven hundred and fifty miles, in 
eleven days, — or more than sixty-eight miles a day, for 
eleven days in succession: and at the close of this forced 
march, met and routed the Patriot army of between three 
and four thousand men. " These Peruvians," says a 
highly intelligent gentleman who has spent twenty years 
among them, "are a more hardy race, and will endure 
more fatigue and privation than any other people in the 
world. They subsist wholly on vegetable food; and 
being very improvident, their diet is generally coarse and 
scanty. Parched corn is their principal, and generally 
their exclusive article of food when engaged in any 
particular enterprise or effort which requires great activity 
and power of body: at other times, they subsist on such 
of the various products of their climate as they happen to 
have at hand. In travelling, and in many other respects, 
the women are quite equal to the men in muscular power 
and agility." 

§1031. The inhabitants of Hindostan and of India 
generally, are constantly named by the advocates for 
flesh-eating, as a proof that those who subsist wholly on 
vegetable food, are inactive, effeminate and feeble, and 
totally destitute of energy and enterprise. But such 
objectors ought to be too well acquainted with the his- 
tory, condition and circumstances of these people, to 
attribute these effects to their vegetable food. They 
ought to know that for thousands of years, their political, 
civil, social and religious institutions and usages, have 


been such as are calculated to crush or rather to pre- 
clude all enterprise, to subdue all energy and to make 
the people indolent and inactive. Indeed, with the ex- 
ception of their vegetable food, it is not easy to conceive 
of a complication of circumstances and combination of 
causes more omnipotent to suppress and annihilate all 
the nobler attributes of man, than have surrounded and 
acted on the people of India for at least, twenty-five 
hundred years. In the first place, they have nothing to 
call into action the better energies of human nature, and 
in the second place, they have every thing to suppress 
and paralyze those energies. They have nothing to 
awaken the flame of political ambition — nothing to beget 
a desire for civil elevation — nothing to develop the char- 
acter of the statesman nor the intellect of the philoso- 
pher or the scholar. The love of gain and the desire 
for wealth and the social distinctions of life, which are 
among the most powerful elements of activity and are 
most efficient in awakening the spirit of enterprise and in 
developing the physical and intellectual resources of man, 
are in India, all smothered and subdued: and there is 
nothing to induce the degraded native to attempt to indi- 
vidualize himself from the stagnant mass of human popu- 
lation, unless it be to become distinguished in a religion 
which only sinks him deeper in degradation. If by any 
means, the people can obtain sufficient alimentary sub- 
stance of any kind, to keep them alive, it is nearly all 
they are permitted to possess. Every thing beyond this 
is sure to invite oppression, extortion and outrage. If 
they cultivate the soil or plant fruit-trees for the purpose 
of providing sustenance for themselves and families, the 
hand of extortion comes in and leaves them nearly as 
destitute as the indolent beggar. If they are known by 
any management to have laid up a little money, it is by 

192 graham's lectures on the 

some iniquitous means extorted from them. The natu- 
ral consequence is that, all individual enterprise is crush- 
ed: and the people have no heart to labor when they 
know they shall not enjoy the fruits of it. But still, they 
are human beings — they are intellectual and moral ani- 
mals, and as such they possess the constitutional instincts 
of their nature, which prompt them to seek enjoyment. 
Their intellectual and moral resources are cut off, and 
they sink down into an animal existence, and seek to 
keep alive their consciousness and to procure what en- 
joyment they can, in the exercise and indulgence of their 
animal sensibilities and appetites. From early infancy 
they become accustomed to narcotic and other exciting 
and intoxicating substances, (§880.) and through life, 
indulge excessively in almost every species of stimula- 
tion. They marry at twelve and even ten years of age, 
and are only bounded in their licentiousness by the want 
of physiological ability to go farther. Though they pro- 
fess to subsist on vegetable food, yet from their poverty 
and improvidence and depravity, their diet, and especially 
among the lower classes, is generally of the most meagre 
and miserable kind, and they eagerly consume whatever 
alimentary substance they are able to obtain, whether it 
be vegetable or animal; and thousands of them devour 
both vegetable and animal substances of the most crude 
and filthy and unwholesome quality. But this food they 
almost universally, from the oldest to the youngest, and 
in all conditions of life, season very highly with their 
favorite curry powder; a composition made of cayenne 
pepper, black pepper, ginger, mustard, and several other 
ingredients of a very heating and irritating character, cal- 
culated to produce the worst disorders of the alimentary 
canal, and consequently, to reduce the vital energies of 
the nerves of organic life, and impair all the functions of 


the system. Besides these stimulants with their food, 
almost every man, woman and child, habitually, and 
often to very great excess, chew a cud composed of 
opium, cheenam, or lime and betel-nut, wrapped up in a 
sera leaf of very acrid and pungent qualities. Tobacco, 
one of the worst of narcotics, whose effects are exceed- 
ingly pernicious on the powers and functions of organic 
life, is in almost universal, and generally, excessive use 
among them; and a great portion of the natives make a 
free use of arrack; a very intoxicating, fiery and destruc- 
tive alcoholic liquor. — Lieutenant Colonel James Todd, 
— than whom no better authority can be given, in his An- 
nals and Antiquities of Rajast'han, or the central and west- 
ern Rajpoot States of India, says, that "to Baber, the 
founder of the Mogul Empire, India is indebted for the 
introduction of its melons and grapes; and to his grand- 
son for tobacco; but for the introduction of opium, we 
have no date, and it is not even mentioned in the poems 
of Chund. This pernicious drug has robbed the Raj- 
poot of half his virtues, and while it obscures these, it 
heightens his vices, giving to his natural bravery a char- 
acter of insane ferocity, and to the countenance, which 
otherwise beamed with intelligence, an air of imbecility. 
Like all other stimulants, its effects are magical for a 
time, but the reaction is not less certain; and the faded 
form or amorphous bulk too often attests the debilitating 
influence of a drug which alike debases mind and body. 
In the more ancient epics we find no mention of the 
poppy juice, as now used, though the Rajpoot has at all 
times been accustomed to this intoxicating cup. The 
essence called arrack, whether of grain, of roots, or of 
flowers, still welcomes the guest, but is secondary to the 
opiate. To eat opium together, is the most inviolable 
VOL. II. 17 

194 graham's lectures on the 

pledge; and an agreement ratified by this ceremony 
stronger than any adjuration. If a lfajpoot pays a visit, 
the first question is — have you had your opiate?" — The 
Calcutta (India) Gazette, describing the recent celebra- 
tion of one of tjie Hindoo religious festivals, says, " The 
conception of the horrors with which these ceremonies 
strike every refined heart, is strong in our mind. We 
see the effeminate lust that inspires the Baboo to bring 
the first beauties into his house; we see spirits and 
iquors of all sorts freely indulged in, and terrible tumults 
excited by their heat; we see excesses of every kind 
committed without hesitation, and boys of very tender 
age freely allowed to ramble over nights and nights, and 
spend hours and hours in immoral pursuits: — we witness 
youths of fourteen or fifteen years old, indulging to excess 
in the stupefying and mischievous fumes of tobacco and 
other drugs; we see goats, rams and buffaloes, savagely 
butchered, and men rolling on the ground, besmeared 
with blood and dirt; and at the time when the idols are 
thrown into the water, young men go upon the river with 
their lewd companions, and revel in all sorts of licentious- 
ness. In short, if there be any action which is, to the 
utmost degree, degrading to the dignity of man, and 
demoralizing to his mind, it is perpetrated at these holi- 

§1032. By these means and many others of similar 
tendency, they have as a general fact, greatly diminished 
their stature, and rendered themselves comparatively 
feeble, effeminate, indolent and stupid. For it is a well 
ascertained truth in physiological science, (§ 973.) that 
the early and free and habitual use of powerful narcotics, 
prevents the full development of the body and impairs 
all its physiological energies, and where narcotics are so 


universally and excessively used as in India, and especial- 
ly by mothers and children, (§SSO.) the inevitable result 
is a general diminution of size: and this effect is greatly 
increased when to general excesses in narcotics there is 
added a general and early excess in lasciviousness. 

§ 1033. But it is said. that, according to the statement 
of Rammohun Roy, the Mahomedans in India who eat 
flesh, have better bodies than the Hindoos, and hence it 
is inferred that a portion of flesh-meat is essential to the 
most complete development of the human body even in 
India. General statements of this kind are not to be 
received as specific evidence in relation to particular 
physiological principles. (§882.) A thorough know- 
ledge of all the circumstances in the case, would probably 
show a wide difference between the Mahomedans in 
India, and the Hindoos, in many other respects besides 
the kind of their food. — When the Spaniards had domin- 
ion in Peru they enslaved the native Indians and reduced 
them to the most wretched condition, and kept, them in 
the most ignorant and degraded state, that they might not 
know their rights. Since the Spanish yoke has been 
thrown off, the Government of Peru, when it is necessa- 
ry to recruit their armies, take these native Indians by 
force, and convert them into soldiers: and others they 
seize and compel to work in the mines. To avoid these 
oppressions and outrages, the Indians endeavor to shun 
their oppressors, and retire as far as possible from what 
is called civilization. They seek an asylum in the 
mountains, and dwell in rude huts made of logs or cane 
and mud. These huts are filthy and miserable abodes ; and 
the Indians are extremely filthy in their persons. They 
wear but little clothing, which they never change. They 
put on a garment, and never take it off till it is worn out. 
They subsist wholly on vegetable food. They have in 

196 graham's lectures on the 

the valleys, all the vegetable productions of a tropical 
climate, and on the hills, all those of a temperate climate; 
and they can sow, and reap — cut grass and grind sugar- 
cane every day in the year. But so long and so cruelly 
have these Indians been oppressed, and they feel it so 
uncertain at what hour they may be torn from their 
homes, that they are utterly improvident, and never seem 
to think of to-morrow, but subsist from day to day on 
what vegetable substance is most easily and readily 
obtained; and therefore, their diet is generally very 
scanty. They are universally given to chewing a pun- 
gent, exciting leaf which they call coca leaf, and are all 
fond of an intoxicating liquor made by fermenting corn, 
and will drink to excess whenever they can get it. In 
this wretched state, these interior Indians are exceeding- 
ly meagre and miserable looking creatures. Yet they 
have great strength and activity, and will endure severe 
labor and fatigue for a very long time. The men will 
carry immense weights. They think nothing of carrying 
a barrel of flour and other burdens of equal and greater 
weight, considerable distances. Some of these men are 
commonly employed as couriers, to go on journeys of 
several hundred miles, as special messengers, with de- 
spatches, into the interior and elsewhere. They prepare 
for their journey by filling one pocket full of parched 
corn and another with coca leaf, and these constitute 
their entire sustenance during their journey. Yet sub- 
sisting on this very small quantity of parched corn, they 
will travel with great speed; — very commonly sixty miles 
a day for eight or ten days in succession. (§ 1037.) 

§ 1034. When these native Indians are taken from 
their wretched abodes and irregular habits in the moun- 
tains, and brought under the regular training and severe 
discipline of the army and furnished with a proper sup- 


ply of good vegetable food, they are in a short time 
transformed into very fine-looking, active and valiant 
soldiers, with well-proportioned and athletic bodies. 

§ 1035. Here then, we find that without resorting to 
the use of flesh-meat, the meagre, squalid, vegetable- 
eating Indian of Pern is, by the systematic training and 
regular habits of the army, soon transformed into the fine- 
looking, brave and powerful soldier. — And it is perfectly 
certain that a similar experiment in Hindostan would 
be attended with similar results. Let the indolent, inactive, 
miserable-looking Hindoo be taken from his idle, 
irregular and sensual habits and put under the systematic 
discipline and regular training of a well managed army, 
and be regularly fed with good, wholesome vegetable 
food in proper quantities, and in a short time his appear- 
ance would be so much improved in every respect, that 
he would look as if he belonged to another race of men. 
And it is also perfectly certain that, if the everlasting 
chewing and smoking and drinking narcotic and alcoholic 
and other stimulating substances, and the excessive 
licentiousness of the Hindoos could be wholly abolished, 
and the people could be brought into regular and system- 
atic habits of temperance, cleanliness and industry; and 
fully supplied with good, wholesome vegetable food and 
pure water, and relieved from all oppression, and awak- 
ened to a spirit of enterprise and a consciousness of 
freedom and independence, and roused to the pursuit of 
the rational and proper objects and enjoyments of life, 
it would require no flesh-meat to develop their bodies 
in the most healthful, symmetrical and vigorous manner, 
and render them an active, energetic and happy race: 
and in the course of a .few generations, they would pro- 
bably rise to an average stature considerably above the 


198 graham's lectures on the 

§ 1036. And even in the present state of things, the 
more temperate and virtuous and industrious Hindoos 
are far from being a feeble and inefficient class of men; 
on the contrary, they are among the strongest and most 
active men in the world, and few if any can surpass 
them in the ability to sustain powerfui and continued 
voluntary action or labor. The laborers from Upper 
Hindostan or from the mountainous regions, are far more 
powerful and active men than the stoutest European 
sailors and soldiers, that visit, or are employed in India. 
The Encyclopaedia Americana says of the Hindoos: — 
" They are in general of a brownish yellow complexion, 
but the higher and richer classes are almost as white as 
Europeans. They are somewhat above the middle 
height, well proportioned, and, in particular, very flexible 
and dexterous. (§ 1010.) They possess great natural 
talents, but are at present deprived of opportunities for 
their development. In earlier times, before they were 
oppressed by a foreign yoke, they had reached a higher 
degree of civilization, and their country has been con- 
sidered as the cradle of all the arts and sciences. The 
division of the people into several entirely distinct orders 
or classes has existed from the remotest times. The 
three higher classes are by their religion prohibited 
entirely the use of flesh-meat; the fourth is allowed to 
eat all kinds except beef; but only the lowest classes 
are allowed every kind of food without restriction." 
And it is in these lowest classes that the most miserable, 
ill-formed and indolent portion of the native inhabitants 
of India are found: while among the higher and more 
intelligent, temperate and virtuous classes, which subsist 
on a more pure and wholesome vegetable aliment, men 
of six feet stature and with well-proportioned, symme- 
trical, vigorous, and active bodies are by no means un- 


common; and for natural ease, grace and urbanity, this 
class of Asiatics are exceeded by no people in the 

§ 1037. " There is a caste of Hindoos," says Sir John 
Sinclair, " called on the western side of India, Patta- 
mars, whose sole occupation is to carry letters and de- 
spatches by land; and they perform journeys almost 
incredible in the time allotted, as is the small quantity of 
food they subsist on during their journey. They gener- 
ally go in pairs for fear of one's being taken ill, and are 
allowed rewards in proportion to the expedition with 
which they perform their journey. From Calcutta to Bom- 
bay, I think twenty-five days are allowed: (about sixty- 
two miles a day) — from Madras to Bombay, eighteen days: 
and from Surat to Bombay, three days and a half. They 
are generally tall — being from five feet ten inches to six 
feet high. They subsist on a little boiled rice." (§1033.) 

§ 1038. What has been said of the Hindoos is nearly 
all true of the Burmese. In the Burman Empire there is 
the strongest prohibition against taking life and against 
using any thing which intoxicates. Yet male and female, 
old and young, rich and poor, all smoke excessively. 
The women smoke almost incessantly, and it is a 
common custom among them when nursing their children, 
to take the pipe frequently from their own mouths and 
put it into the mouths of their infants. (§880.) Every 
body also, from the infant up, chews the betel-nut — a 
pungent and exciting vegetable. Rice is the principal 
food or all who can afford it. The lowest classes use 
what they consider a poorer kind of food, such as wheat, 
Indian corn, sprouts, leaves, &c. Excellent wheat 
grows in the hilly regions, but the Burmese, not knowing 
how to make bread, boil the wheat whole and eat it as 
they do rice. They use some fish, but rather as a 

200 Graham's lectures on the 

condiment than as an aliment. At their times of eating, 
they take about a teacup-full of dried fish and pound it 
fine, and season it very highly with red pepper and other 
hot spices, and this preparation they eat with their rice 
and other vegetable substances. — The Burman govern- 
ment is probably as despotic and oppressive as any on 
the globe. It requires seven ninths of all the people can 
raise or produce. The people are taxed for their fruit 
trees, their fishing nets and everything else they possess; 
so that, the more an individual has the worse he is 
oppressed by the government. If a man is known to 
have money, he is vexatiously prosecuted on false pre- 
tences, and harassed till he will give up his money to 
get released. If the king wants supplies of any kind he 
calls upon his officers next in grade to himself, and these 
go out and demand the service first, of all those wealthy 
people who they know will not perform it, but will pay 
large sums to be exonerated: and after the officers have 
satisfied their cupidity in this way and pocketed all the 
money themselves, they will go to those who will perform 
the service, and order them to do it. Under such a 
system of oppression and tyranny, the people feel little 
inducement to make efforts for the accpiisition of property 
or to aim at the improvement of their condition and 
circumstances. The spirit of enterprise is crushed: and 
the great mass of the population, sunk to a mere animal 
existence; exerting themselves little more than is abso- 
lutely requisite to secure the necessaries of life; and 
those often of the poorest kind. Still however, with all 
this weight of oppression and discouragement pressing 
them down, and with all the enervating and stupefying 
effects of their bad habits, the Burmese possess no small 
degree of bodily vigor and activity, and mental elasticity. 
The boatmen and other laborers possess great muscular 


power and ability to sustain continued effort: and fre- 
quently show themselves capable of feats which require 
extraordinary strength and agility. 

§1039. In China, as in Hindostan, and Burmah, the 
people derive their nourishment from the soil. (§ 908.) 
A small quantity of animal substance, mostly of fish, 
frequently constitutes a portion of the diet of many of 
them it is true, but yet it is always more as a condiment 
than as an aliment. They use no butter nor cheese and 
very seldom milk. The chief thing they wish and work 
for is rice; and they can no more understand how human 
beings can exist without rice, than American flesh-eaters 
can understand how man can live without flesh-meat. 
Every substitute for rice is considered meagre and 
indicative of the greatest wretchedness. " Inquiring 
whether the western baibarians eat rice and finding me 
slow to give an answer," says Gutzlaff, " they exclaimed, 
' Oh! the sterile regions of the barbarians which produce 
not the necessaries of life! Strange that the inhabitants 
have not long ago died of hunger!' I endeavoured to 
convince them that there were substitutes for rice, which 
were equal if not superior to it: but all to no purpose: — 
they still maintained that it is rice only which can 
properly sustain the life of a human being." " Next to 
rice the most universal food in the empire is the white 
cabbage, a species of brassica. Besides this vegetable, 
the northern provinces consume millet and the oil of 
sesamum as a general article of diet. In the more 
southern provinces several species of gourds and cucum- 
bers, together with sweet potatoes, and one or two species 
of kidney beans and of peas are used."* " The Chinese," 
says Gutzlaff, " may fitly be compared to ants. The land 
is filled with men. The houses are not inhabited but 

* Chinn, by J. F. Davis, Fsq. 

202 graham's lectures on the 

stuffed with human beings. Multitudes issue from a few 
small hovels and swarms seem to rise from the very 
earth." " The Chinese are probably the most laborious 
people on earth, and their bodies seem to require the 
least repose. They labor every day in the year except 
the first, appropriated to reciprocal visiting among families, 
and the last, consecrated to the memory of their ances- 
tors." Yet notwithstanding this great industry and the 
fertility of their soil, which yields them two crops of rice 
annually, the population is so exceedingly numerous 
(§908. Note) in proportion to their productive resources, 
that a large majority of the people are compelled to live 
very abstemiously, and hundreds of thousands of them 
are so pressed with the demands of hunger, that they 
eagerly consume whatever alimentary substance they can 
get from the vegetable and animal kingdoms. Dogs, 
cats, rats, worms, &c. are indiscriminately devoured by 
them, and even very considerable quantities of gypsum 
are eaten with their vegetable substances lu satisfy the 
cravings of the stomach. It is important to remark 
however, that most if not all this poverty and wretched- 
ness is caused by the great intemperance of the people 
in the use of opium: for, poor as they are, they all 
contrive to indulge more or less extensively in this 
pernicious practice: so that, the three hundred millions 
of people in China consume nearly eighteen millions of 
dollars' worth of opium annually. The consumption of 
this vile drug, while it diminishes their means of subsist- 
ence and their ability to labor, at the same time greatly 
increases the morbid cravings of their stomachs. Still, 
with all this privation and evil habit, the Chinese generally 
possess considerable muscular power and particularly for 
continued labor. Gutzlaff, speaking of his travels in 
China, says that on a certain occasion, "not being 


able to walk, we procured sedan chairs. The bearers 
appeared to be the lowest of the low, — clad in a few rags 
and looking as emaciated as if they were going to fall 
down dead. But under this unseemly exterior they hid 
great strength. I certainly believe that a well fed horse 
would not have been able to carry some of us who were 
stout and hale over the cragged mountains without sinking 
under the load. But these men walked on briskly and 
sure-footed, and ascended acclivities with greater speed 
than we could have done in walking. Yet though these 
men were meagre, and hungry as wolves, they were 
cheerful and boisterous. — Of the scanty livelihood upon 
which the poorer classes, and indeed nine tenths of the 
nation are obliged to subsist, those wlio have not wit- 
nessed the reality can hardly have an adequate idea. 
The wages are so low that a man who has worked from 
morning till evening as hard as he could, gains perhaps 
ten cents, and with this he has. to maintain wife and 

§jl040. In China however, as in every other country 
where narcotic and intoxicating substances are generally 
used, many individuals are to be found of more temperate 
and correct habits, and these are always favored with 
better health, and more vigorous and active bodies. " A 
finer shaped and more powerful race of men exists no- 
where," says Mr. Davis, "than the coolies or porters 
of Canton; and the weight they carry with ease on a 
bamboo between two of them, would break down most 
others. — The freedom of their dress gives a development 
to their limbs that renders many of the Chinese models 
for the sculptor." 

§ 1041. In Egypt, the diet of the peasantry and labor- 
ing people, is much the same as in China. They use 
some animal substance, particularly fish, as a kind of relish 

204 Graham's lectures on the 

or condiment, but their nourishment is derived immedi- 
ately from the soil. Their food chiefly consists of coarse 
bread made of wheat, of millet or maize, together with 
cucumbers, melons, gourds, onions, leeks, beans, chick- 
peas, lupins, lentils, dates, &c. Most of these vegetables 
they eat in a crude state. "It is indeed surprising to 
observe how simple and poor is the diet of the Egyptian 
peasantry," says Mr. Lane,* "and yet how robust and 
healthy most of them are, and how severe is the labor 
which they can undergo." — " The boatmen of the Nile 
are mostly strong muscular men. They undergo severe 
labor in rowing, poling and towing; but are very cheerful, 
and often the most so when most occupied, for then they fre- 
quently amuse themselves by singing." — " The Egyptian 
cultivators of the soil who live on coarse wheaten bread, 
Indian bread, lentils and other productions of the vegeta- 
ble kingdom," says Mr. Catherwood, "are among the 
finest people I have seen." — Opium is not so generally 
and freely used in Egypt as in many other countries. 
Tobacco is the principal means (§778.) of excitement 
and intoxication employed by the Egyptians, and this, 
they use universally and to very great excess. Here as 
in Burmah, (§ 1038.) both sexes and all classes, ages and 
conditions smoke at all hours of the day and night, and 
almost incessantly. Coffee also is drunk at all hours of 
day and night, and is used nearly as universally and ex- 
cessively as tobacco: hemp, a violently intoxicating plant, 
is likewise smoked to some extent by the lowest classes. 
The Egyptians are also excessively lascivious. 

§ 1042. The natives of Central Africa, who subsist 
wholly on vegetable food, possess astonishing bodily pow- 
ers. The enterprising Landers inform us that, most of 
the tribes which they were amongst 'in Africa subsist 
* Lane's Egypt. 


principally, and many of them entirely on vegetable food. 
" The people of Jenna," say they, " have abundance of 
bullocks, pigs, goats, sheep and poultry: but they prefer 
vegetable food to animal: — their diet, indeed, is what we 
should term poor and watery, — consisting chiefly of prep- 
arations of the yam and of Indian corn; — notwithstanding 
which, a stronger, or more athletic race of people, is no- 
where to be met with. (§ 905.) Burdens with them, are 
invariably carried upon the head : and it not unfrequently 
requires the united strength of three men to lift a calabash 
of goods from the ground to the shoulders of one, and 
then, and not till then, does the amazing strength of the 
African appear. — Some of the women which we saw, 
bore burdens on their heads that would tire a mule, and 
children, not more than five or six years old, trudged after 
them with loads that would give a full-grown person in 
Europe a brain fever." — The Kroomen are a particular 
race of people differing entirely from the other African 
tribes. They inhabit a country called Setta Krow, on 
the coast near Cape Palmas. Their principal employ- 
ment is of a maritime nature. A certain number of 
these men are always employed on board of the ships of 
war on the African coast, for the purpose of performing 
those duties where a considerable fatigue and exposure 
to the sun is experienced. — They only require a few 
yams and a little palm oil to eat, and they are always 
ready to perform any laborious work which may be re- 
quired of them. 

§ 1043. " The principal article of food among the 
Indians of Mexico, and more particularly in the State of 
Tobasco," says Mr. Pope, who has resided several years 
among them, "is Indian corn. It consequently constitutes 
the most important article of agriculture, and three crops 
may be obtained in a year without the labor of tillage. 

VOL. II. 18 

206 Graham's lectures on the 

From the corn the) r prepare a thin cake called the Fortilla, 
which is a bread universally used by the better class of 
the inhabitants, — and a dough from which is made what 
they call Posol. The latter article is prepared by boiling 
the corn, and afterwards crushing it on a flat stone fitted 
for the purpose and which every family possesses, (§ 782.) 
— it being substituted for grinding, as corn-mills are un- 
known in the country. This dough is laid aside until 
wanted for use, and in a short time, becomes sour, in 
which condition it is generally preferred. It is then 
mixed with water to such a consistency as may be drunk; 
and sometimes a little sugar is added. And on this 
food alone, they are enabled to subsist and undergo far 
more fatigue under the tropical sun of Mexico, than 
our northern laborers in the northern latitudes, with the 
free use of animal food. I have not unfrequently been 
forty hours in ascending the Tobasco river, to the capi- 
tal — a distance of about seventy-five miles — in one of 
their canoes, against a current of from three to four miles 
an hour; — the men poling the canoe (a very laborious 
employment) sixteen hours out of twenty-four. Those 
who abstain from the use of ardent spirit, are muscular 
and strong; and among them are to be found models for 
the sculptor." 

§ 1044. The interesting natives of Pitcairn's Island of 
whom I have already spoken, (§992.) until within a few 
years, had always subsisted on plain, simple vegetable 
food, and most of it in a natural state. They were re- 
markably well formed, active and athletic. " Their agil- 
ity and strength were so great," say the British officers 
who visited them, "that the stoutest and most expert 
English sailors were no match for them in wrestling and 
boxing." " Two of them — George Young and Edward 
Quintal, each carried at one time, a kedge anchor, two 


sledge hammers and an armorer's anvil; — weighing togeth- 
er, upwards of six hundred pounds, and Quintal once 
carried a boat twenty-eight feet in length." 

§ 1045. The Spaniards of Rio Salada in South Amer- 
ica, who come down from the interior, and are employed 
in transporting goods over land, live wholly on vegetable 
food. They are large and very robust and strong, and 
bear prodigious burdens on their backs, — such as re- 
quire three or four men to place upon them, in knapsacks 
made of green hides: — and these enormous burdens they 
will carry fifty miles into the country, — travelling over 
mountains too steep for loaded mules to ascend; and with 
a speed which few New England men can equal without 
any incumbrance. — The slaves of Brazil are a very strong 
and robust class of men, and of temperate habits. Their 
food consists of rice, fruits, and bread of coarse flour, 
and from the farrenia root. They endure great hard- 
ships, and carry enormous burdens on their heads, a dis- 
tance of from a quarter of a mile to a mile without rest- 
ing. It is a common thing to see them in droves or 
companies, moving on at a brisk trot, — stimulated by the 
sound of a bell in the hands of the leader; and each man 
bearing upon his head, a bag of coffee weighing a hundred 
and eighty pounds, apparently as if it were alight burden. 
They also carry barrels of flour and even barrels of beef 
and pork upon their heads. They are seldom known to 
have a fever or any other sickness. — The Congo slaves 
of Rio Janeiro, subsist on vegetable food and are among 
the finest looking men in the world. They are six feet 
high and every way well proportioned, and are remarka- 
bly athletic. — The laborers at Laguira eat no flesh, and 
they are an uncommonly healthy and hardy race. A 
single man will take a barrel of beef or pork on his shoul- 
ders and walk with it from the landing to the custom- 

203 graham's lectures on the 

house, which is situated upon the top of a hill, the ascent 
of which is too steep for carriages. The cargoes of their 
vessels are also all lifted by them from their lighters on to 
the wharves or landing, without any mechanical aid what- 
ever. Their soldiers likewise subsist on vegetable food 
and are remarkably fine looking men. The laboring men 
or porters at the Island of Terceira, (one of the Azores,) 
subsist wholly on coarse, vegetable food, and are exceed- 
ingly strong and able to bear very great burdens on their 
shoulders. A single man will take on a pad upon his 
shoulders, a half pipe of wine containing fifty-two gallons 
and weighing in all about five hundred pounds, and carry 
it to warehouses and up a number of steps. — The Moor- 
ish porters at Gibraltar from the Barbary shore, live on 
coarse vegetable food and are very athletic and hardy. 
They will carry casks of wine, and other burdens of 
prodigious weight, on their pads upon their shoulders. 

§ 1046. " With respect to the Moorish porters in 
Spain," says Captain C. F. Chase, of Providence, It. I., 
" I have witnessed the exceedingly large loads they are 
in the habit of carrying, and have been struck with aston- 
ishment at their muscular powers. Others of the labor- 
ing class, particularly those who are in the habit of work- 
ing on board of ships, and called in that country, steve- 
dores, are also very powerful men. I have seen two of 
these men stow off a full cargo of brandy and wine in 
casks — (after it was hoisted on board and lowered into 
the hold) apparently with as much ease, as two American 
sailors would stow away a cargo of beef and pork. They 
brought their food on board with them, which consisted 
of coarse, brown wheat-bread and grapes." 

§ 1047. " I have made several voyages to St. Peters- 
burgh in Russia," says Captain Cornelius S. Howland, of 
New Bedford, Mass. " The people of Russia generally 


subsist for the most part on coarse, black rye-bread and 
garlicks. The bread is exceedingly coarse, sometimes 
containing almost whole grains, and it is very dry and 
hard. — I have often hired men to labor for me in Russia, 
which they would do from sixteen to eighteen hours and 
find themselves, for eight cents per day (the sun shining 
there sometimes twenty hours in the day.) They would 
come on board in the morning with a piece of their 
black bread weighing about one pound, and a bunch of 
garlicks as big as one's fist. This was all their nour- 
ishment for the day of sixteen or eighteen hours' labor. 
They were astonishingly powerful and active; and endured 
severe and protracted labor far beyond any of my men. 
Some of these men were eighty and even ninety years 
old; and yet these old men would do more work than 
any of the middle-aged men belonging to my ship. In 
handling and stowing away iron, and in stowing away 
hemp with the jack-screw, they exhibited most astonish- 
ing power. They were full of agility, vivacity, and even 
hilarity, — singing as they labored, with all the buoyancy 
and blithsomeness of youth." (§ 1041.) 

§ 1048. " The Irish chairmen, porters and coal- 
heavers in London," says Adam Smith, in his Wealth 
of Nations, "who have been raised principally on the 
potatoe, and who continue to subsist on vegetable food, 
are perhaps the strongest men in the British dominions." 

§ 1049. " I have frequently witnessed both in England 
and in Spain, the amazing bodily strength of the salt and 
coal-heavers, and their ability to perform an astonishing 
amount of labor in a day," says Captain Chase. " They 
perform so much that, they generally work by the ton 
and not by the day. Much however probably depends 
on their being accustomed to their particular kind of 
employment. These men subsist on a simple vegetable 

210 graham's lectures on the 

diet; except that in England some of them use milk, or 
buttermilk, with oatmeal, bread, mush, potatoes, &c. 
I have visited many respectable families in Ireland, who 
never allow their children to partake of any other than 
this simple fare. Moreover, I have been informed by 
many of the young Irishmen from sixteen to twenty-five 
years of age, that they had never eaten a pound of flesh in 
their lives; still they were remarkably vigorous, sprightly 
and exceedingly well-formed : and the women are uncom- 
monly handsome. And of all classes with which I have 
ever been acquainted, in all countries and climates, the 
Irish who have been thus reared and who lead temperate 
lives, will endure more hardships, fatigue and exposure, 
than any other." — " The finest specimens of the human 
body I ever beheld, I saw in Ireland, and they had never 
tasted animal food," says the Rev. Howard Malcolm, 
of Boston, who has travelled extensively in America, 
Europe and Asia. 

§ 1050. " The salt and coal-heavers in Liverpool and 
London are principally Irish," says Captain John Price, 
of New Bedford, Mass. " I have often employed these 
men in lading and unlading my ship, and have been sur- 
prised at their great strength and power of endurance in 
connexion with their simple and scanty diet. Their 
food consists principally of oatmeal and other coarse 
bread and cheese, — dining on about four ounces of coarse 
bread and two or three ounces of cheese. — On one 
occasion, two of these men came alongside of my ship 
with a boat-load of salt for me: and one of them actually 
threw that salt with a shovel, up nine feet on to the deck 
of my ship, as fast as two of my men could throw it into 
the hold." 

§ 1051. " I once discharged a cargo of oil at the port 
of Lisbon in Portugal," says Captain Cornelius S. 


Howland, " and the casks of oil were carried from my 
ship to the storehouse by porters. These porters came 
from the interior, on the borders of Spain and Portugal. 
They subsisted wholly on vegetable food — almost entirely 
on coarse rye-bread, and were remarkably stout and 
healthy. I had a cask of oil of uncommon size on board, 
weighing upwards of thirty-two hundred pounds; and four 
of these porters, — yoked two and two, took it up by 
means of ropes going from their yokes under each end 
of the cask and carried it about fifteen rods to the store- 

§ 1052. "The Greek boatmen," says the venerable 
Judge Woodruff, whose interesting mission to Greece I 
have already named, (§ 1007.) are seen in great numbers 
about the harbors, seeking employment with their boats. 
They are exceedingly abstemious. Their food always 
consists of a small quantity of coarse black bread, made 
of unbolted rye or wheat-meal — (generally rye) — and a 
bunch of grapes or raisins, or some figs. They are nev- 
ertheless, astonishingly athletic and powerful; and the most 
nimble, active, graceful, cheerful, and even merry people 
in the world. At all hours they are singing, — blithesome 
— jovial and full of hilarity. The laborers in the ship- 
yards live in the same simple and abstemious manner, 
and are equally vigorous, and active and cheerful. They 
breakfast and dine on a small quantity of their coarse bread 
and figs, grapes or raisins. Their supper, if they take 
any, is still lighter; — though they more frequently take no 
supper, and eat nothing from dinner to breakfast. It is 
indeed, astonishing to an American to see on how small 
a quantity of food these people subsist. It is my serious 
opinion that one hearty man in New England ordinarily 
consumes as much food in a day, as a family of six Greeks. 
Yet there is no people in the world, more athletic, active, 

212 Graham's lectures on the 

supple, graceful, and cheerful. (§ 100G.) — In Smyrna, 
where there are no carts nor other wheel-carriages, the 
carrying business falls upon the shoulders of the porters, 
who are seen in great numbers about the wharves and 
docks, and in the streets near the water side, where they 
are employed in lading and unlading vessels. They are 
stout, robust men of great muscular strength; and cany 
at one load, upon a pad fitted to their backs, from four 
hundred to eight hundred pounds. Mr. Langdon, an 
American merchant residing there, pointed me to one of 
them in his service, and assured me, that a short time be- 
fore, he carried at one load, from his warehouse to the 
wharf, (about twenty-five rods,) a box of sugar weighing 
four hundred pounds, and two sacks of coffee weighing 
each two hundred pounds, — making in all eight hundred 
pounds: — that after walking off a few rods with a quick 
and firm step, he stopped and requested that another sack 
of coffee might be added to his load; but Mr. Langdon, 
apprehending danger from so great an exertion, refused 
his request." 

§ 1053. Mr. Jones, in his Sketches of Naval Life, pub- 
lished at New Haven in 1829, speaking of the porters 
of Smyrna, says that, " the weight which they bear at one 
load, is often astonishing. I have been credibly inform- 
ed," says he, " that five hundred and sixty pounds is a 
common burden for them; and that it frequently amounts 
to eight hundred and forty pounds." — " I once saw one 
of the porters of Smyrna," says Lieut. Amasa Paine, of 
the U. S. navy, "carry three bags of coffee at a load; 
and I saw those bags of coffee weighed, and carefully 
took down the weight of each bag at the time. One of 
them weighed three hundred and twenty-two pounds, 
another three hundred and twenty-seven, and another 
three hundred and eleven pounds, making in all nine hun- 


dred and sixty pounds." — These porters very seldom if 
ever partake of any animal food — never enough to produce 
any effect on their bodies, but they subsist mostly on a 
very spare, simple and coarse vegetable diet. 

§ 1054. "Captain Thayer, in the schooner Lydia, 
belonging to me," says Mr. Luther Jewett, of Portland, 
Maine, "came into Portland in the summer of 1831, with 
a cargo of barilla, (an alkali made of kelp and used in 
making soap,) from the Canary Islands. I stood by when 
the schooner was discharging her cargo, and saw four 
stout American laborers attempt in vain, to lift one of the 
masses of barilla, which the captain and mate both sol- 
emnly affirmed, was brought from the storehouse to the 
vessel, by a single man, — a native laborer where they 
freighted, and he subsisted entirely on coarse vegetable 
food and fruit." 

§ 1055. " On our passage home from Greece," says 
Judge Woodruff, " we encountered a number of severe 
gales, in which all the sailors were obliged to exert them- 
selves to the utmost. During these times, our Greek 
boy, John of Thessaly, (§ 1007.) displayed the most as- 
tonishing agility and muscular power. He would run out 
on the rigging, and, hanging by one leg, he would handle 
the sails with a degree of strength which seemed almost 
supernatural, when the storm was so severe and the sea 
so rough that he would often swing so as to describe a 
considerable part of a circle, and it seemed impossible 
for any creature to hold fast. I witnessed these exploits 
with painful dread, expecting every moment to see him 
shook from the rigging into the ocean, but he felt per- 
fectly secure, and even loved the sport, and seemed 
i proud to be daring.' — One day, while we were sailing 
under a pleasant breeze and nothing for the hands to do, 
the men amused themselves in performing various feats: — 

214 graham's lectures on the 

and among other things, they tried to lift a cannon which 
was lying upon the deck. "We had one very large, stout- 
built, powerful man amongst the crew — a native of Ken- 
tucky — who went by the name of ' big Charley.' He 
prided himself in his strength: — and after several others 
had tried in vain to lift the gun, he took hold and laid out 
his whole strength, but did not stir it. He changed his 
position and tried the second, and the third time with all 
his might, but was not able to move the gun at all. — After 
big Charley had given up, and all supposed of course, that 
it was entirely useless for any one else on board to try, 
the Greek boy John, who had been idly looking on, came 
lazily up, and took hold of the gun, and, to the utter 
amazement of the whole crew, he, with apparent ease, 
raised it up full two inches from the deck, and laid it down 
again. The astonished spectators could not believe their 
own eyes; and to satisfy them that there was no decep- 
tion about it, he raised it up the second time. This feat 
appeared so extraordinary to me, that I could not divest 
myself of a suspicion that there might be some peculiar 
sleight in it; and as I had been, in my prime, a pretty stout 
man, I thought I would try my own hand at it. I ac- 
cordingly watched my opportunity when no one was pres- 
ent to witness my attempt, and, taking hold of the gun in 
the manner the Greek boy had done, I exerted all my 
strength; but I could no more move it than if it had been 
riveted to the deck." 

§ 1056. " My health," says Dr. Jackson, a distin- 
guished surgeon in the British army, " has been tried in 
all ways and climates; and by the aids of temperance and 
hard work, I have worn out two armies in two wars, and 
probably could wear out another before my period of old 
age arrives. I eat no animal food — drink no wine nor 
malt liquor, nor spirits of any kind. I wear no flannel, 


and neither regard wind nor rain, — heat nor cold, when 
business is in the way." 

§ 1057. " I was born," says Benjamin Howland, 
(§ 1009.) " according to the record, on the 13th day of 
April, A. D. 1752. In early life, I was frequently 
troubled with the diseases common to children, and as I 
advanced in life, I became subject to turns of the colic, 
and of the sick-headache, which often rendered me una- 
ble to labor. After I had arrived at the age of twenty- 
five years, I concluded that the complaints with which I 
was afflicted, were caused by some errors in my diet, 
and I therefore left off eating milk and hot bread, which 
in a great measure prevented my turns of the colic; but 
not the headache: — and from that time until 1 arrived at 
the age of forty years, generally speaking, my health was 
but poor. Still apprehending that my frequent indisposi- 
tion was occasioned by errors in my diet, and being in 
the habit of using much animal food at that time, I thought 
my difficulties might proceed from that, and concluded 
that I would not use any more, — not even fowl, — the 
advice of my attending physicians and some of my friends 
to the contrary notwithstanding. I then adopted the use 
of molasses and water with brown bread or biscuit in it 
for my dinner, and tea or coffee for my breakfast and 
supper, — my coffee generally being made from parched 
barley: and I have continued to use this beverage to the 
present day, having perceived no ill consequences to pro- 
ceed from it. My health began to improve immediately, 
and continued to improve for a number of years, and 
much of my youthfulness and activity returned. (§ 1013.) 
I became able to labor, travel or exercise as in early 
life. I could make stone wall, mow grass, chop wood, 
&.c, and have continued to the present, to be blessed 
with a good use of my limbs to travel or labor. My 

216 graham's lectures on the 

mind, although perhaps never equal to some men's, yet, 
I may say without boasting, has not, as I can perceive, 
diminished in its vigor and activity in doing business, for 
twenty or thirty years past. My sight is as good as 
common; though I am now eighty-two years old. I see 
to read out of doors, or at a window without glasses; 
although I have lost the sight of one eye. — I have no 
recollection of ever having tasted of rum but once, and 
that was before I was twenty years old. — I never drank 
brandy, nor any other distilled spirits, and I think not to 
the amount of a bottle of wine or strong beer. In my 
younger years, I sometimes drank a small cpiantity of 
cider, but for the greatest part of my life, I have only 
drank a little, when first made, at the press. I carefully 
avoid eating all greasy substances as far as possible. I 
seldom take any butter. I eat vegetables of various 
kinds; — have no fixed quantity to eat; — generally eat 
what my appetite craves; — which is not increased by 
missing a meal, as it was when I made use of animal 
food. I never was in the habit of using tobacco at any 
time of life. — I retire at nine o'clock in the evening and 
rise about sunrise. I generally sleep well, and after a 
day of hard labor rise the next morning quite refreshed. 
I have two brothers younger than myself, who are not 
in my way of living: and do not enjoy so good health, 
nor are they able to labor as I do: although in younger 
years, one of them enjoyed much better health than I 
did. I had a sister who in her youth was unable to walk 
for fourteen years, in consequence of a kind of rheumatic 
cramp. During the latter part of that time, she left off 
the use of animal food, except drinking a tea made from 
boiling birds in clear water; — she also left the use of 
that before she recovered and never afterwards made use 
of any animal food of any kind. She was soon after, 


entirely relieved from her rheumatic complaints, and 
enjoyed a comfortable state of health; — was active, — 
cheerful, and sensible; — and so continued to her latest 
moments. She lived over seventy years. I have for 
many years been in the habit of leading my field at mow- 
ing and have continued to do so to the present time. I 
generally cut from sixteen to twenty-five tons of fodder." 

§ 1058. " I have been acquainted with Mr. Benjamin 
Howland for several years," says Christopher Robinson, 
Esq., "and I know that he is a very extraordinary instance 
of bodily vigor and activity, and of unimpaired faculties, 
for an octogenarian. There are few men at any period 
of life, capable of doing so much work in a day as he is. 
Few young men walk with so quick and elastic a step as 
he does. When crossing the fields, if a fence comes in 
his way, instead of pulling it down or crawling clumsily 
over it, he places one hand on the top of it, and springs 
over it like an active youth. (§ 1009.) Though I 
consider myself a pretty active young man, yet I do not 
think I can walk from East Greenwich to Providence 
(a distance of fourteen miles) in so short a time as Mr. 
Howland can. His mental powers seem to have suffered 
as little from old age as his physical. He appears to 
possess all the soundness of judgment, freshness of 
memory and shrewdness of mind that he ever did: and 
for the performance of labor or the transaction of business, 
he is a much more capable man than many at half his 

§ 1059. " I have resided many years near Mr. Ben- 
jamin Howland and know him well," says Albert C. 
Green, Esq., attorney-general of the state of Rhode 
Island. " He possesses the activity and vigor of ordinary 
able-bodied laboring men at forty years old, and is 
capable of doing as much work. He has, for many 

VOL. II. 19 

218 graiiam's lectures on the 

years past, been in the habit of leading his hands in the 
field, and has considered that they did a good day's work 
who held their way with him. — Mr. Robinson read law 
with me and had a good opportunity of becoming ac- 
quainted with Mr. Rowland. His testimony concerning 
him is perfectly correct. Mr. Howland is indeed a very 
remarkable man for one of his years." 

§ 1060. " A fright, when a lad," says Mr. Thomas 
Shillitoe, of Tottenham, England, (§1009.) "brought en 
a Aery severe nervous complaint, which increased as I 
grew up. At the twenty-fourth year of my age, my 
health became so impaired that my medical attendant 
ordered me to quit London altogether, and put me on a 
very generous diet. A beef-steak, and some of the best 
ale that could be procured, were ordered for my breakfast, 
and at my dinner and supper, plenty of good ale and 
wine, and, to avoid obesity, vegetable diet. This mode 
of dieting 1 pursued for twenty years. My health 
gradually more and more declined, and my nerves were 
so enfeebled, that twice I was confined to my bed, from 
the sudden sight of a mouse. These frights, too, which 
proceeded from different causes, produced such dread, 
such horror, such debility, and such sinking and frequent 
craving for food and stimulants, for several days after- 
wards, and my frame became so overcharged with the 
quantity of food and liquids, and my nervous irritability 
so increased, that I felt as if T could not live. — Smoking, 
and spirits and water, were then recommended. A lthough 
the quantity was increased from time to time, they did 
not produce the effect I desired. T became alarmed at 
the consequences, not knowing where it would end. 
These not producing sleep, I was then advised to have 
recourse to laudanum. I began with ten drops, yet I 
found I was obliged to increase my dose three drops 


every third night, until it got to one hundred and eighty 
drops. I left off at that quantity. — Li addition to my 
nervous attacks, (I apprehend in consequence of my 
generous and high manner of living,) 1 became bilious, 
rheumatic and gouty; [ frequently had very had colds 
and sore throat; and I can only describe the situation I 
was brought into, by saying 1 went about day by day, 
frightened for fear of being frightened — a dreadful situation 
indeed to be living in. — I made a visit to a medical friend 
of mine in Hampshire, where I spent some time. Tins 
afforded him an opportunity of observing the state of my 
health, and the effect which my manner of living had on 
my constitution; and before V quitted his house, he 
advised me to make a general change in my manner of 
living — to abandon my beef-steak, and the use of all fer- 
mented liquors, and to use animal food but very sparingly. 
— At first, it appeared to me as if human nature could 
hardly be willing to submit to my friend's prescription; 
for my physician in London had desired me to double my 
portion of ale in the morning, saying my hypochondriacal 
habit required it. At last I called upon him for his 
advice, in as debilitated a state of body, I think, as 1 well 
could be, to walk about. His advice to me was, to 
procure some of the oldest Madeira wine that could be 
got, and to take a bottle in as short a time as possible. 
A friend of mine provided me some, which he told me 
was twenty years old. I. took the bottle of wine between 
the hours of eight and ten at night, and it produced very 
little more effect, such was my state of debility, than if 
I had taken so much water. But feeling satisfied of the 
sincerity of my friend, who had enforced to me the 
necessity of a general change, I made up my mind to be 
willing to seek help from almighty God, that I might 
give it a fair trial, satisfied as I was, that nothing short 

220 graham's lectures on the 

of his help could enable me to endure the conflict I must 
undergo. — When I returned to my own home, favored 
as I believe I was, with that help which would bear me 
up in making the attempt, I proceeded all at once — for I 
found tampering with these things would not do — and gave 
up my laudanum, fermented liquors of every kind, and my 
meat breakfast. My health began gradually to improve, 
although I felt some of the effects of the old complaint in 
my stomach, after I had taken my dinner meal; I there- 
fore confined myself wholly to vegetable diet, and my 
health has gradually improved from that time to the 
present, so that I am able to say, to the praise of Him 
who enabled roe to make the sacrifice of these things, 
that I am stronger now, in my eightieth year, than I was 
fifty years ago, when in the habit of taking animal food, 
wine, strong malt liquor, and spirits and water; and my 
bilious, my rheumatic and my gouty complaints, I think 
I may say, are no more; nor have I, since this change, 
ever had an attack of that most dreadful of maladies, 
hypochondria. I call it most dreadful, from what I have 
felt of it. It exceeds derangement, because when 
derangement takes place, the mind is gone. — I find, from 
continued experience, (it being thirty years since I ate 
fish, flesh or fowl, or took fermented liquor of any kind 
whatsoever,) that abstinence is the best medicine. I 
don't meddle with fermented liquors of any kind, even 
as medicine. I find I am capable of doing better without 
them than when I was in the daily use of them. — When 
I think of my friend who put me on this mode of living, 
I am satisfied of this, that he did more towards my 
comfort here, and towards my endeavoring to seek after 
a better inheritance in the world to come, than if he had 
given me ten thousand sovereigns. It is probable such a 
present would have promoted an increase of the indul- 


gence in winch [ was living, and would have been almost 
sure to increase that state of disease which I had irom 
time to time heen laboring under. — And another way in 
which I w r as favored to experience help, in my willingness 
to abandon all these things, arose from the effect my 
abstinence had on my natural temper. My natural 
disposition is very irritable, and was not helped by my 
nervous complaint, irritability being very much attached 
to such complaints. I" am persuaded that high living, has 
more or less effect in tending to raise into action our 
evil propensities, which, if given way to, war against the 
soul, and renderus displeasing to almighty Cod." — When 
about seventy years old Mr. iSliilliloe visited this country, 
and he was then truly remarkable for his youth-like 
sprightliness and activity: and the latest accounts of him 
since his return to England inform us that, though over 
eighty years of age, he still continues to walk from 
Tottenham to London, — a distance of six miles.* 

§ 1061 . " Thomas James, a laboring man of Nantucket, 
has never eaten any flesh; though he sometimes eats fish. 
He informed me, a short time since," says Mr. William 
Macy, "that he had never been sick, never felt any of the 
aches and pains of which others complain, and never ex- 
perienced any painful weariness from labor. He said he 
could work all day and all night if necessary, without any 
considerable sense of fatigue. 1 have known him go into 
the field in the morning and labor through the day, and 
come in at evening and eat his supper, and go into the 
oil-mill and work all night, and then go into the field again 
in the morning, without a moment's sleep, and work all 
day, and yet at the close of the second day, he assured 
me that he felt no oppressive sense of weariness or ex- 
haustion. He once observed to me that he had several 
* Mr. Shillitoe died about a year since. 


222 graham's lectures on the 

brothers, all of whom ate flesh freely, and said he, I am 
worth the whole of them to endure labor, privation and 
exposure. He is uncommonly nimble and active." 

§ 1062. Thomas McGoodin, a laboring man in the 
Callender factory in Providence, is about forty years old, 
(Feb. 1834.) small frame, and weighs about a hundred and 
thirty pounds. From religious considerations he was in- 
duced, about the year 1825, to abandon the use of animal 
food and adopt the most simple vegetable and water diet. 
After living in this way about seven years and laboring 
hard, a competition arose in the beetling department of 
the factory, in which the ability of the laborers to endure 
powerful and protracted effort was severely tried. Two 
stations requiring precisely the same exertion, were to be 
occupied for several days in succession. McGoodin 
took one of these stations and occupied it through the 
whole time without flagging in the least: while the other 
station was successively occupied by three or four of the 
strongest men in the establishment, all of whom were ac- 
tually tired out and obliged to be relieved. The overseer 
of the department declared that he believed McGoodin 
would kill every man in the establishment, if they were 
obliged to hold their way with him till he gave out. — 
McGoodin also labored from one to two hours a day 
longer than any other man. 

§ 1063. Brindly, the celebrated English canal engi- 
neer, informs us that in the various works in which he has 
been engaged, — where the workmen, being paid by the 
piece, each ex*erted himself to earn as much as possible, — 
men from the north of Lancashire and Yorkshire, who 
adhered to their customary diet of oat-cake and hasty- 
pudding — with water for their drink, sustained more labor 
and made greater wages, than those who lived on bread, 


cheese, bacon and beer — the general diet of laborers in 
the south. 

§ 1064. I might add a multitude of instances of indi- 
viduals in the United States, who, within the last five or 
six years, have adopted a vegetable and water diet, and 
who have experienced a very considerable increase of 
strength since they have wholly abstained from animal 
food; and some of those instances have been very re- 
markable: but it is sufficient to state in general terms, 
that excepting those invalids who were, at the time they 
made the change, affected with an incurable disease, all 
who have adopted, and strictly adhered to a diet of pure 
vegetable food and water; and at the same time, consis- 
tently observed a correct general regimen, have experi- 
enced a decided increase of muscular power: and have 
found themselves able to perform more labor with less 
fatigue. Indeed the general experiment has so complete- 
ly demonstrated the truth of the physiological principles 
which I have advanced on this point, (§ 1025.) as to 
render it perfectly certain that, all other things being 
precisely equal, they, who under a correct general regi- 
men, subsist on a diet of pure and well-chosen vegetable 
food and pure water, possess more muscular power, and 
are able to perform more labor in a given time, and to 
labor much longer without rest and without weariness, 
than they who subsist either on animal food exclusively, 
or on a mixed diet of vegetable and animal food. 


Comparative effects of vegetable and animal food in enabling the human 
system to resist the action of inoibific causes and to recover from dis- 
ease — Popular ignorance in regard to the nature of disease, its source 
and its remedy; and what is required of the physician — Popular 
error in regard to the virtues of medicine — True health defined — The 
three opinions of the schools in relation to the nature of disease — 
The grounds of self-deception and of the success of quackery — The 
true province of the physician — Disease not natural to the human 
body — Caused mostly by our voluntary habits — All medicine a poi- 
son — The true physician — The abominations of quackery — Causes of 
disease, of epidemics, &.c. — Animal and vegetable food in relation to 
epidemics — Illustrations, [Toward and others — Cholera in New York 
— Dietetic sources of disease — Correct medical treatment — Little 
drugging necessary — Medicines often create and perpetuate disease — 
Importance of correct regimen — Virtues of vegetable diet — Hippo- 
crates' opinion — The principles which should govern every practition- 
er — Dr. Cheyne and Dr. Lambe of England — Diseases of every type 
and character have been cured by correct regimen, with little or no 
medicine — How the diet of a chronic patient should be regulated — 
The diseased part, the standard of power — False notions, in regard to 
nourishing diseased bodies and being fleshy — Instability of invalids 
— Comparative effects of vegetable and animal food with reference 
to longevity, prolificness and the ability to endure cold. 

§ 1065. The physiological evidence in relation to the 
natural dietetic character of man, derived from the com- 
parative effects of animal and vegetable food on the hu- 
man bocty, in enabling it to resist the action of morbific 
causes, — to recover from disease, and to attain to old 
age, next demands our attention. 

graham's lectures, etc. 225 

§ 1066. In relation to disease, and the true principles 
and means of cure, the most universal and lamentable igno- 
rance prevails among mankind. (§12.) Few, probably, 
ever attempt to define their own notions on the subject, 
but are content to go through life with the most vague 
and indistinct impressions. Yet, if we were to take the 
actions of men as true expressions of their ideas, we 
should unhesitatingly say that, human beings almost uni- 
versally, consider health and disease as things absolutely 
and entirely independent of their own voluntary conduct, 
and of their ability to control. They regard diseases as 
substances or things which enter their bodies with so lit- 
tle connexion with their own voluntary actions and hab- 
its, that nothing which they can do, can prevent disease, 
nor vary the time nor violence of its attack: (§ 32.) and, 
according to their education, they believe it to be the 
effect of chance or of fate, (§ 14.) or a direct and special 
dispensation of some overruling Power or powers. (§28.) 
The consequence is that, they either submit to disease, 
as an element of their irresistible destiny, or seek for 
remedies which will kill it, or expel it from their bodies, 
as a substance or thing, independent of the condition and 
action of their organs. This latter notion is probably, 
far the most prevalent. People generally consult their 
physicians as those who are skilful to prescribe remedies 
that will kill disease; and these remedies they expect to 
act either as an antidote to a poison, or as an alkali to an 
acid, or in some other way, with little or no reference to 
the condition and action of their organs, and to their die- 
tetic and other voluntary habits. Many indeed, seem to 
think that their physicians can take disease out of them and 
put health into them, by the direct application of reme- 
dies — and that there is in the remedies themselves, when 
skilfully chosen and applied, a health-giving potency, 

226 Graham's lectures on the 

which, of its own intrinsic virtue, directly and immediate- 
ly imparts health to the body. 

§ 1067. This erroneous notion, as a matter of course, 
leads people to place their dependence on the sovereign 
virtue of remedies, and consequently, to undervalue the 
highest qualifications of the well educated and truly sci- 
entific physician, (§34.) and lo place equal or even 
greater confidence in the ignorant and blustering quack 
who impudently pretends to have discovered a true and 
infallible remedy for every disease. The result of all 
this error is, in the first place, mankind do not believe 
that their own dietetic and other voluntary habits and 
actions, have much, if any thing to do with the preser- 
vation of health and the prevention of disease: — in the 
second place, when diseased, they expect to be cured 
by the sovereign power of medicine alone; and do not 
believe that any particular diet can of itself, be of any 
great importance either in preventing or promoting their 
restoration to health. — In the third place, relying wholly 
on the intrinsic virtues of medicine, ihey conceive that 
that medicine is quite as potent from the hands of one 
man as another, and are ever ready to run after those 
who are the loudest and most confident in their preten- 
sions, and this opens the door for unbounded empiri- 
cism and quackery, and for the immense evils which (low 
from blind and indiscriminate drugging. 

§1063. xVll this mischief arises mainly from a want of 
correct knowledge of the nature of health and the general 
principles and philosophy of disease. Life, I have said, 
(§41.) is a mystery to man; — we cannot appreciate nor 
detect it by any of our senses, nor by any scientific pow- 
ers or means which we possess. It is therefore only 
known to us by its phenomena; — or by the powers which 
it manifests and the effects which it produces. It cannot, 


as we have seen, (§ 108.) be the effect of organization, 
but is necessarily the cause of organization. Neverthe- 
less, so far as we know any thing about it, organization 
is the essential medium of its manifestations and perpe- 
tuity. (§121.) It resides intimately and constitutionally 
in the tissues and substances of our bodies, (§203.) and 
endows those tissues with all their peculiar properties — 
and entering with those tissues into the composition of all 
our organs, imparts to those organs their peculiar func- 
tional powers. (§ 312.) 

§ 10G9. The organization with which life is thus inti- 
mately connected, consists of certain arrangements of the 
matter which is common to all material forms, organic 
and inorganic; (§ 106.) and which, as matter, is suhject 
to the more primitive laws and affinities of the inorganic 
world. (§115.) But, as we have seen, (§117.) the 
arrangement of matter in organic forms, according to the 
constitutional laws of vitality, is an effect directly con- 
trary to the more primitive laws and inorganic affinities 
of matter; (§110.) and hence, vitality produces all of its 
peculiar effects, and maintains its controlling sovereignty 
in its organic dominion, in direct opposition to the more 
primitive laws and inorganic affinities of matter: (§ 126.) 
and consequently, those laws and affinities continually act 
to overcome and destroy life. (§ 127.) And vitality, in 
resisting the hostility of those laws and affinities, and 
maintaining its own sovereignty and carrying on its pecu- 
liar operations, acts in and through its organization, and 
depends on the power of the vital constitution of the 
tissues (§924.) and the integrity of the organs. 

§ 1070. Health therefore, may briefly be defined to 
consist in the correct condition and action of all the vital 
powers and properties of our bodies: and this neces- 
sarily involves the proper development, and correct 

228 Graham's lectures on the 

operation and condition of all the organs, tissues and 
substances of our bodies. 

§ 1071. Concerning disease, medical men have been 
divided into three schools. First, those who have con- 
sidered disease to consist essentially, in certain condi- 
tions of the fluids of the body. " The human body," 
says Hippocrates, "contains four humors, very different 
with respect to heat and cold, moisture and dryness, viz: 
blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. Health con- 
sists in a due mixture of these four: and whatever pro- 
duces a redundancy in any of them does hurt." — This is 
the foundation of humoral pathology, which, with various 
modifications, has been embraced by a very large propor- 
tion of the medical profession from the days of Hippo- 
crates to the present; — and of course, has constituted the 
basis of the theory and practice of medicine of that school. 
Their remedies and modes of treatment have been exhib- 
ited and pursued, mainly, if not entirely with a reference 
to the state of the fluids, and aiming to correct the humors. 
This scheme of humoral pathology has opened the widest 
door for every kind of quackery in all ages. — Medical 
astrology and alchymy of earlier times, and the elixirs of 
life, catholicons, panaceas, hygeian pills and other species 
of quackery in our own day, have all been founded on 
humoral pathology; and their proprietors have always 
talked about the impurities of the blood, the humors, 
&c. and the potency of their remedies to purify the blood, 
and sweeten the humors, and thus remove or prevent all 
diseases of every kind and type. 

§ 1072. The second school of physicians consider that 
disease consists essentially in the peculiar condition and 
action of the solids. They believe that by the action of 
disturbing causes and morbific agents on the solids of the 
body, these latter are irritated and diseased and thus 


derangement of function — morbid irritability — local, or 
general inflammation, fevers, change of structure, &c. &c. 
are induced. This school also, of course, adapt their 
therapeutics, or theory and practice of medicine to their 
scheme of pathology. They seek to subdue irritation 
and restore healthy action, by abstracting irritating causes 
and by the exhibition of sedative and narcotic medicine; 
or, to overcome the irritation and unhealthy action of 
one part by producing special irritation in another part — 
on the principle of counter irritation: — and it is upon 
this principle almost entirely, that all those accidental 
cures are effected to which all quack medicines owe their 
reputation. — By improper quantities and qualities of food 
(§ 520.) and other errors of diet and habits, people 
oppress and irritate their systems, till they begin to be 
affected with unpleasant, and perhaps painful symptoms 
of disturbed action, and, it may be, diseased condition 
of some of their organs. These symptoms they mistake 
for the disease itself, and fly to the use of remedies for sour 
stomach, dizziness, head-ache, sore eyes, rheumatism, 
pain in the breast, side or back, or for catarrh, cough, 
cramps, eruption, debility, or something else. If these 
symptoms do not arise from the actual disease of any 
particular part, but from the general oppression of the 
system, caused by excessive alimentation, any drug which 
will powerfully evacuate the alimentary cavity and cause 
considerable depletion, will at once relieve the symptoms 
for which it was taken. Or if the symptoms arise from 
the morbid condition and unhealthy action of some parti- 
cular organ or apparatus of the system, the medicine, 
if it possess any potency, by rallying the vital forces in 
reaction against its pernicious properties, induces a new 
disease, which, upon the principle of counter irritation, 
causes a determination from the old to the new point of 
vol. ii. 20 

230 Graham's lectures on the 

morbid action, and thus perhaps, subdues the symptoms 
for which it was taken, and receives the credit of curing 
the disease. Where there is considerable constitutional 
and restorative energy in the system, and no particular 
part is very deeply diseased, the vital economy will often 
avail itself of the new action and determination caused 
by the medicine, to recover the health and integrity of 
the part previously affected: yet it is always necessarily 
at the expense of greater or less injury to other parts 
and to the constitution generally, from the action of the 
medicine. And if the cause which induced the primary 
difficulty be continued, the inevitable result will be, either 
that, the old symptoms will sooner or later return with 
increased violence, or other symptoms arising from the 
diseased condition of the same part, and modified by the 
action of the medicine, will occur; or new symptoms 
arising from the diseased condition of other parts pre- 
disposed by the effect of the medicine, will take place. 
But, so that the symptoms are temporarily subdued or 
mitigated, or changed, the unfortunate sufferer is deceived 
into the belief that he is benefited by the medicine; and 
under this delusion perhaps, perseveres in the use of 
remedies, which often become the most efficient causes 
of his sufferings, till he drugs himself to death, to the 
glory of the medicine and the emolument of the mercenary 

§ 1073. The third school of physicians combine to 
some extent the views of the other two. They con- 
sider that the solids and fluids are both concerned in 
disease: and their theory and practice of medicine cor- 
respond with this opinion. And there can be no doubt 
that the diseased condition and action of the solids pro- 
duce, to a greater or less extent, a morbid state of the 
fluids, and that this morbid state of the fluids reacts upon 


the solids to increase their irritations and aggravate their 
disease. But let us look at this matter a little more in 
detail. — Pure, healthy chyme is produced exclusively by 
the healthy function of the alimentary canal; (§ 320.) 
and the alimentary canal can perform this function health- 
fully, only while itself is in a healthy and undisturbed 
condition. Pure, healthy chyle can only be produced by 
the healthy function of the lacteals. (§465.) Pure, 
healthy arterial blood can only be produced by the healthy 
functions of the lacteals, lungs and other organs con- 
cerned in haematosis, or the formation of blood. (§ 484.) 
Perfectly healthy bile can only be produced by the healthy 
function of the liver: and so on, of all the other fluids 
and humors of the whole system. — Now then, suppose 
the chyme, or chyle, or blood, or bile, or any other fluid 
or humor of the body, to be unhealthy and impure; — is 
it possible for any physician or any other human being 
in the universe, to apply such a remedy as will of its own 
intrinsic virtues, directly and immediately impart health 
and purity to any of those substances? — Most certainly 
not! There is no possible way in nature of producing 
these effects, but by the healthy function of the organs 
constituted for that purpose. If the bile is unhealthy, no 
medicine in the universe can directly impart health to it. 
The healthy function of the liver alone, can make the bile 
healthy; and while the function of the liver is perfectly 
healthy, the bile cannot be unhealthy. If the blood is 
impure, no medicine in the universe, can, by its own 
intrinsic virtues, directly and immediately impart purity 
to it! There is no possible way in nature by which it 
can be purified, but by the healthy function of the appro- 
priate organs of the body. 

§ 1074. If then, by any means, the blood becomes 
impure, the healthy functions of the appropriate organs, 

232 graham's lectures on the 

will very soon purify it. But whatever may be the quality 
and potency of the medicines used to purify it, so long 
as the functions of those appropriate organs, are unhealthy, 
the blood will and must remain impure : — and this is true 
of all the fluids and humors of the system. — It is true 
however, as we have seen, (§ 1072.) that by the continued 
application of such remedies, the original symptoms for 
which they were applied, may, upon the principle of 
counter irritation, be removed and other symptoms be 
established, which will disappear when the remedies are 
abandoned; and thus, in some instances, health may be 
restored: — in other instances, the old symptoms will return 
after a short time; and probably in a more aggravated 
form: — and in other instances, new symptoms and perhaps 
of a much more serious character, may be permanently 
established: — while the patient himself and very often his 
physician also, will never suspect that the new symptoms 
have been produced by the very remedies by which the 
old symptoms were removed. 

§ 1075. We see therefore, that the essential elements 
of health, are the healthy condition and functions of the 
organs of the human body; (§ 1070.) and these elements 
are preserved by a strict conformity to the laws of con- 
stitution and relation established in our nature; (§ G93. et 
seq.) and they are destroyed or impaired by every infrac- 
tion of those laws. And such are the sympathies of 
the system, (§297. 298. 521.) that not only are the 
organs immediately acted on by disturbing and morbific 
causes, themselves affected and their functions deranged 
and diseased by such causes, but other organs also, sympa- 
thizing with those immediately acted on by those causes, 
partake of their irritations, and by these sympathetic 
irritations, are often made themselves the seats of loca 
disease; and when disease is thus once induced, even 


slight, habitual disturbances and irritations from dietetic 
errors and other causes, are sufficient to keep it up for 
many years, till it terminates perhaps in death. 

§ 107G. We see also, that no physician, nor any other 
human being in the universe, can come to us when we 
are diseased, and by any exercise of skill or the applica- 
tion of any remedy, directly and immediately impart to 
us any health, or remove from us any disease. But the 
truly enlightened, scientific and skilful physician is gener- 
ally able to discover the nature of our disease, and to 
ascertain what disturbing causes must be removed, and 
what means must be employed in order to the restoration 
of the healthy action and condition of every organ and 
part, and thus, by assisting nature's own renovating and 
healing economy, relieve the system from disease and 
enable it to return to health. 

§1077. For, it ought to be well understood that dis- 

natural and legitimate result of all the normal operations 
of our vital economy, is always health and only health: 
and if disease is induced, it is always by causes which 
disturb those operations. Indeed, disease itself, as a 
general fact, may be said to be, in its incipient state, 
nothing more than an excess of healthy action to resist 
morbific causes; and this excess being carried too far, 
and continued too long, the overacting parts are brought 
into a morbid condition, and perhaps, involve the whole? 
system in sympathetic irritation. All that nature asks, or 
can receive from human skill in such a condition there- 
fore, is the removal of disturbing causes; and she will, 
of her own accord, as naturally as a stone falls to the 
earth, return to health; unless the vital constitution has 
received an irreparable injury. Disease is therefore, not 

234 graham's lectures on the 

only induced by disturbing causes in the first place, but 
it is kept up by the continual action of such causes. It 
is true that when the action of disturbing causes has 
induced diseased structure in our organs, this, while it 
remains, will in the absence of all other morbific causes, 
keep up diseased action to a greater or less extent, in 
the system. But as a general law, in chronic complaints, 
where change of structure has not actually taken place 
and gone too far for vital redemption, diseased action 
will not long continue, after the entire removal of the 
disturbing causes: and hence, chronic disease is, in almost 
every instance, kept alive and cherished from day to day 
— from month to month and from year to year, by the 
constant action of those disturbing causes which are 
mostly to be found in our dietetic and other voluntary 

§ 1078. It ought furthermore, to be well understood, 


that its own direct effect on the living body is in all cases 
without exception, unfriendly to life; (§ 1072.) and the 
action of all medicine as such, in every case, to a greater 
or less extent, wears out life, impairs the constitution 
and abbreviates the period of human existence. Still 
however, in the present condition of human nature, there 
are frequent cases of disease in which medicine, to some 
extent, is indispensably necessary to the salvation of life; 
yet even in all such cases, medicine is at best a necessary 
evil; and therefore, should only be used when, and to 
the extent, indispensably necessary. And consequently, 
the physician who assists our nature to throw off disease 
and recover health, with the least use of medicine, is the 
best friend to our constitution and evinces the most true 
science and skill, and deserves our highest respect and 
warmest gratitude. To throw an immense quantity of 


medicine into the diseased body, and accidentally kill or 
cure, as the event may happen to be, requires but little 
science or skill: and extensive experience has taught 
us that it may be done as well by the acknowledged 
quack as by the licensed physician: — but to understand 
all the properties, powers, laws and relations of the living 
body so well as to be able to stand by it in the moment 
of disease, and as it were, to look through it at a glance, 
and detect its morbid affections and actions, and ascer- 
tain its morbific causes, and to know how to guide and 
regulate the energies of life in accordance with its own 
laws, in such a manner as to remove obstructions — 
relieve oppressions, subdue diseased action and restore 
health, with little or no medicine, but principally or 
entirely by a regimen wisely adapted to the case, evinces 
the most extensive and accurate professional science and 
the most profound skill; — and such qualifications are 
essential to the character of a truly enlightened and 
philanthrophic physician; and such physicians truly 
deserve the support and respect, and admiration and love 
of every member of society, as standing among the 
highest benefactors of the human family. 

§ 1079. But what must we think of those creatures 
wearing human shape, who, either with the good inten- 
tions of honest ignorance, or with the base motives of 
cupidity, — with exceedingly little, or no knowledge of the 
human constitution and the laws of life, and without ever 
seeing their thousands of patients, or knowing any thing 
of the nature or causes of their diseases, open their patent 
medicine manufactories in London, and Philadelphia, and 
New York and other places, and deluge the earth with 
their panaceas, and catholicons, and hygeian pills, and 
thousands of other vile preparations, and boldly recom- 
mend them as infallible specifics for every disease that 

236 graiiam's lectures on the 

man can force upon his nature? Surely, they are to be 
regarded as among the very worst enemies of their 
species: and many, if not most of them, ought to be 
ranked with pirates and assassins: for, with little if any 
less turpitude of heart and wickedness of intention, they 
destroy the lives of hundreds where pirates and assassins 
do of one. — And they will continue their successful 
career of human butchery, till the all-pervading ignorance 
and delusion of our fellow creatures, which render them 
capable of being deceived by such impostors, and made 
willing to swallow immeasurable quantities of their per- 
nicious drugs, shall be dispelled by the universal diffusion 
of knowledge in regard to the constitutional nature and 
relations of man. 

§ 1030. Health, I have said, (§ 1070.) may briefly 
be denned to consist in the correct condition and action 
of all the vital powers and properties of our bodies, and 
this necessarily involves the proper development and 
correct operation and condition of all the organs, tissues 
and substances of our bodies; and the more perfectly 
we conform to the laws of constitution and relation estab- 
lished in our nature, (§ 693. et seq.) the more perfectly 
and certainly we preserve such a state of things; and in 
such a state of things, our bodies possess their greatest 
vital power to resist the action of foreign, disturbing and 
morbific causes generally, and of all special and extraor- 
dinary morbific or pestilential causes. 

§ 1031. But whatever irritates our organs and disturbs 
their functions, not only tends to originate disease in the 
system, but always commensurately diminishes the power 
of our bodies to resist the action of foreign morbific and 
pestilential causes. It is possible that in some exceed- 
ingly rare instances, changes in the state of the earth or 
atmosphere, or the influence of comets or some other 


heavenly bodies may be such as absolutely to induce 
disease in man and other animals, in any condition of 
their vital powers, and wholly independently of their 
dietetic and other voluntary habits. But it is very ques- 
tionable whether such a state of things ever happens: 
and it is certain that if it does, it is extremely seldom, 
and only on a very limited extent of the earth's surface: 
for in such a case, not only many, but every human 
being without exception, and probably most or all the 
lower animals, at least of the same natural class, would 
be diseased at the same time, over the whole extent of 
the earth's surface where such a cause prevailed. But 
neither history nor tradition gives us any information that 
such an event ever took place. 

§ 1082. Changes in the state of the earth and its atmos- 
phere, and especially of the latter, have undoubtedly very 
often, and very extensively, been immediately exciting 
causes of disease in man, when there was a considerable 
predisposition to disease induced by other causes. — Asa 
general fact however, the grand sources of disease are the 
erroneous dietetic and other voluntary habits and actions 
of mankind. By introducing into the nose, mouth, lungs, 
and stomach, substances unfriendly to life, (§ 520.) 
— and by introducing into the stomach proper alimentary 
substances, in an improper condition, or quantity, or at 
improper times, — by errors in regard to exercise, rest, 
sleeping, cleanliness, clothing, &c. &c. — by- an undue 
exercise of the mental faculties and over-excitements of 
the mind, — by an inordinate exercise of the passions such 
as love, fear, anger, &c, and by many other causes 
within the compass of man's voluntary agency, the ner- 
vous system is almost continually, and in nearly every 
member of the human family, kept in a state of more or 
less powerful and extensive irritation; — and by this means 

238 graham's lectures on the 

the functions of the several organs are disturbed and their 
functional results deteriorated; — the healthy condition of 
the organs themselves is impaired, and more or less of a 
morbid irritability and sympathy are induced in the nervous 
system generally: and thus, diseases of every description 
are originated in the system by internal disturbances; and 
by the same means, the power of the living body to 
withstand the action of foreign morbific and pestilential 
causes, is exceedingly diminished. 

§ 1083. We perceive then, that, not only whatever pro- 
duces irritation in the system, but also, whatever excites 
the nerves and accelerates the functions of the organs, 
and increases the exhaustion of their vital properties, 
beyond what is essential to the most healthy operations 
of the vital economy (§ 745.) and the most perfect 
results of the vital processes of composition and decom- 
position, (§314.) always necessarily diminishes the power 
of the living body to resist the action of foreign, morbific 
and pestilential causes and increases its liability to be mor- 
bidly affected, or to become diseased by the action of 
those causes. 

§ 1084. We have seen (§916.) that, animal food or 
flesh-meat is decidedly more stimulating in proportion to 
the quantity of nourishment which it actually affords the 
system than proper vegetable food; that it increases the 
vital action of the whole system, causes a more rapid 
pulse and a hotter skin; (§ 919.) — hastens all the vital 
processes and renders the vital changes less perfect. 
We have seen also, (§ 924.) that the chyle formed from 
animal food, when taken from the living vessel, much 
more readily becomes putrid than that which is formed 
from vegetable food; and that the human blood formed 
from animal food will putrefy, when taken from the living 
vessels, in a much shorter time and much more rapidly, 


than that formed from pure vegetable aliment: and that, 
there is always — other things being equal — a much greater 
febrile and putrescent tendency in the living bodies 
of those who subsist mostly on animal food than in those 
who subsist wholly on pure vegetable aliment, and hence, 
the susceptibilities of both the fluids and the solids, to 
the action of morbific causes, is greater in the flesh-eater 
than in the vegetable-eater. Moreover, it is a very im- 
portant fact — and especially in relation to civic life, 
that the pulmonary and cutaneous evacuations of the 
human body are much less morbific and pestilential in 
their tendency, when pure vegetable aliment is used 
than when flesh-meat is used. — As a general fact there- 
fore, all the vital powers of the human body are preserved 
in a more vigorous condition and all the vital functions are 
more healthfully and perfectly performed in the use of 
proper vegetable food, than in the use of flesh-meat; and 
consequently, the human body has more vital power to 
resist the action of foreign morbific and pestilential 
causes, and to maintain permanent health, when nourished 
by well-chosen vegetable food than when nourished by 
flesh-meat, or than when nourished by a mixed diet of 
vegetable and animal food. 

§ 1085. I wish to be clearly understood on this point 
however; — I do not affirm that the mere abstinence from 
animal food and living on vegetable food exclusively, 
without any regard to a proper regimen, will better enable 
our bodies to withstand the action of foreign morbific 
causes, than a mixed diet, under good regulations. I con- 
tinually insist upon it, and wish it to be distinctly remem- 
bered, that vegetable food can be made incomparably 
more pernicious than plain, simple animal food in temper- 
ate quantities. It is infinitely better to subsist on a mixed 
diet of vegetable and animal food under a good general 

240 Graham's lectures on the 

regimen, than to live wholly on vegetable food, badly se- 
lected, viciously prepared, and eaten in inordinate quan- 
tities, while at the same time, we live in the violation of 
almost every other correct rule of health. Be it remem- 
bered therefore, that in all the comparisons which I draw 
between the effects of animal and vegetable food on the 
human body, I always proceed upon the condition that 
all other things are precisely equal. It is indubitably true 
that individuals living on poor and scanty vegetable food, 
in filthy and miserable hovels, — indulging habitually in the 
use of tobacco, opium, ardent spirit, and the numerous 
other intoxicating and stimulating substances used by hu- 
man beings, (§778.) would be far more likely to be 
morbidly affected by pestilential causes, than those who, 
surrounded by comforts, with cleanly and well-regulated 
habits, subsist temperately on a mixed diet of vegetable 
and animal food. But the question is, — w T ould the same 
individual or any number of individuals whose habits and 
circumstances are in all other respects correct, be better 
able to resist the action of foreign morbific causes, when 
subsisting exclusively on a well-chosen and well-regulated 
vegetable diet, than when subsisting on a mixed diet of 
vegetable and animal food? To this question I reply, 
unhesitatingly, that both physiological science, and facts 
prove that the pure vegetable diet is the safest and the 
best; because it is best adapted to the organization and 
to the physiological properties and powers of the human 

§ 10S6. As to facts, they may be gathered in great 
abundance from the history of the human family in all 
periods and portions of the world, but enough can be 
found in modern times and even in our own day and coun- 
try, to satisfy every mind that is willing to receive the 


§ 1087. Howard, the celebrated philanthropist, was 
probably more exposed to the influence of pestilential 
causes than any other human being that ever lived. "In 
the period of sixteen or seventeen years," says his biog- 
rapher, "he travelled between fifty and sixty thousand 
miles, for the sole purpose of relieving the distresses of 
the most wretched of the human race. The fatigues, the 
dangers, the privations he underwent or encountered for 
the good of others, were such as no one else was ever 
exposed to, in such a cause; and such as few could have 
endured. He often travelled several nights and days in 
succession, without stopping, — over roads almost impas- 
sable, in weather the most inclement, with accommoda- 
tions the meanest and most wretched. Summer and 
winter, heat and cold, rain and snow, in all their extremes, 
failed, alike, to stay him for a moment, in his course; 
whilst plague and pestilence and famine, instead of being 
evils that he shunned, were those with which he was most 
familiar; and to many of whose horrors he voluntarily 
exposed himself; visiting the foulest dungeons, filled with 
malignant infection, — spending forty days in a filthy and 
infected lazaretto, — plunging into military encampments 
where the plague was committing its most horrid ravages; 
and visiting where none of his conductors dared to accom- 
pany him;" and through all this, he subsisted entirely on 
a most rigidly abstemious vegetable diet, carefully avoid- 
ing the use of wine and all other alcoholic drinks : — and 
such was the result of this man's extensive experience 
and observation, that he earnestly advised others who were 
exposed to the plague, to abstain entirely from the use of 
animal food; and this, it cannot be supposed, he would 
have done, had he not been fully confident of the correct- 
ness of such a.dvice, both from what he had experienced 
in himself, and from what he had seen in others. And it 
VOL. II. 21 

242 graham's lectures on the 

must be remembered that Howard's opportunity to test 
the correctness of this opinion, was neither brief nor lim- 
ited, but the most extensive, varied and long-during ever 
experienced by any one man; and such were the accu- 
racy of his observations and the soundness of his judg- 
ment, that although not himself a physician, yet he was 
more successful in treating the plague than any of the 
physicians where he went. Howard's opinion therefore 
on such a subject is of the highest value. — "The ab- 
stemious diet which, at an early period of his life, he 
adopted from a regard to his health," says his biographer, 
"he afterwards continued, and increased in its rigor from 
principle, and from choice, as well as from a conviction 
of the great advantages which he derived from it." And 
after all his experience, near the close of his life, he made 
the following record in his diary. "I am firmly persuad- 
ed, as to the health of our bodies, that herbs and fruits 
will sustain nature, in every respect far beyond the best 
flesh." Yet with all the practical good sense and wis- 
dom of this philanthropic man, there is every reason to 
believe that he fell a victim to his free use of tea. Sub- 
stituting its deleterious stimulation for the sustaining nour- 
ishment of food, he rushed with the utmost temerity into 
the presence of the greatest danger, when his body, by 
fatigue, cold, wet, and exhaustion from severe fatigue, 
was wholly unprepared to resist the virulent action of 
malignantly noxious agents, and then neglected the early 
symptoms of disease in his system, and perseveringly re- 
frained from the use of any efficient means of restoration. 
§ 1088. The distinguished botanist Charles Whitlaw, 
speaking of the ravages of the yellow fever in New York, 
says, "I was then in the full vigor of health, having been 
brought up on a vegetable diet 7 which I have no doubt 
was the chief cause of preserving my health and life, as I 


attended and nursed a considerable number during the 
whole of their illness without taking the fever. Being 
anxious to know the cause of the dreadful malady, I 
attended the dissections. The doctors were astonished 
how I escaped the contagion. Mr. Hardy, a celebrated 
Scotch philanthropist, like Howard, went from place to 
place in the city, administering comforts to the diseased 
and miserable. I was induced to follow his course. It 
would be impossible to describe the distress I witnessed." 
— Mr. Whitlaw also informs me that he spent a season 
in New Orleans during the prevalence of the yellow fever, 
and was much among the sick, nursing and administering 
to them, and by virtue of a pure and simple vegetable 
diet he wholly escaped an attack of the fever. 

§ 1089. Copeland's Medical Dictionary contains an 
article on climate in relation to the food of man, in which 
the writer says — " When travelling in the most unhealthy 
parts of intertropical Africa, in 1817, I met with an 
Englishman who had lived there between thirty and .forty 
years, and was then in the enjoyment of good health. 
The circumstance was singular; and in answer to my 
inquiries as to his habits, he informed me that soon after 
his removal to that pestilential climate, his health had 
continued to suffer, till, after trying various methods 
without benefit, he had pursued as closely as possible, 
the modes of life of the natives, adopting both their diet 
and beverages — (the natives living almost exclusively 
on rice and maize, and water;) and from that time he had 
experienced no serious illness." 

§ 1090. The Rev. Mr Mylne, missionary to Africa, 
makes the following mention of the health of his colleague, 
the Rev. Mr. Crocker. Having given an account of his 
own severe sickness and recovery, he adds — ''Brother 
Crocker has been very much favored; he has had no 

244 Graham's lectures on the 

real attack of fever all this time; which I suppose is 
unprecedented for a white man here; but he began three 
months before leaving America, to live on farinaceous 
food, and has strictly adhered to his principles since he 
arrived; living on rice, cassada, sweet potatoes, &c. — a 
fact worthy of the consideration of emigrants to this 

§1091. Mr. G. W. M'Elroy, of Kentucky, visited 
Liberia in Africa in the summer of 1835 — arriving in 
July. He spent two months in Monrovia, and two 
months on the coast. During his voyage to Africa, 
while there, and on his passage home, he abstained 
wholly from animal food; — lived on rice and other 
farinaceous vegetables, and on fruits. He enjoyed the 
best of health the whole time, (although much exposed 
while in Africa;) and in fifty-seven days he gained fifteen 
pounds in weight. 

§ 1092. But the most signal demonstration of the 
truth of the principles which I am contending for, was 
afforded in the city of New York during the prevalence 
of the cholera in the summer of 1S32. The opinion had 
been imported from Europe, and generally received 
in our country, that a generous diet embracing a large 
proportion of flesh-meat, flesh-soups, &c. with a little 
good wine, and a strict abstinence from most fruits 
and vegetables, were the very best means to escape an 
attack of that terrible disease. Nearly four months 
before the cholera appeared in New York, I gave a 
public lecture on the subject in that city, in which I 
contended that an entire abstinence from flesh-meat and 
flesh-soups and from all alcoholic and narcotic liquors and 
substances, and from every kind of purely stimulating 
substances; and the observance of a correct general 
regimen in regard to sleeping, bathing, clothing, exercise, 


the indulgence of the natural passions, appetites, &c. 
&c would constitute the surest means by which any one 
could rationally hope to be preserved from an attack of 
that disease. I repeated this lecture after the cholera 
had commenced its ravages in the city, and notwithstand- 
ing the powerful opposition to the opinions which I 
advanced, a very considerable number of citizens strictly 
adhered to my advice. And it is an important fact, that 
of all who followed my prescribed regimen uniformly and 
consistently, not one fell a victim to that fearful disease, 
and very iexv had the slightest symptoms of an attack.' 1 * 
The following statements which were received from 
respectable individuals soon after the disease had disap- 
"peared from the city, may be relied on with the fullest 

a. " In stating my views of a simple diet," says Dr. 
Amos Pollard, "as a means of preserving health and 
preventing disease, I must necessarily be brief for want 
of time. I think I have the most ample evidence of its 
salutary and conservative effects in my own person. I 
had been afflicted both before and during my medical 
studies, with the worst of diseases, chronic dyspepsy, 
from which I never obtained any permanent relief, until 

* During the prevalence of the cholera in New York in 1832, it was 
most extensively, clamorously and continually asserted that the " Gra- 
hamites" were dying by scores with the epidemic, and this opinion has 
gone abroad through the country and is perhaps generally believed. Yet 
I solemnly declare that I made the most diligent search in every part 
of the city where any such case was reported, and called on every 
physician who I heard had made such assertions — and in the newspa- 
pers of the city publicly called for the specification and proof of such 
cases, yet I could not find a single instance in which an individual who 
had adopted and consistently observed the regimen I had prescribed, 
had died of cholera or any other disease, and but two or three instances 
in which there had even been a slight attack; and in each of these cases 
there had been decided imprudence. 

246 graiiam's lectures on the 

about eighteen months since, when I put myself on the 
simple mode of living recommended in your Lectures. 
For nearly a year, I subsisted principally upon coarse 
wheat-meal bread and milk with great advantage to my 
health; — when happening to get some milk which tasted 
.ind smelled of garlics, I became so disgusted with it 
that, in May last (1832) I exchanged my milk for spring 
water, which with the coarse bread has constituted my 
diet, mainly, ever since. During the past summer, and 
especially the cholera season, my professional duties 
were exceedingly arduous; and I often felt myself nearly 
worn out for want of rest and sleep. Yet through the 
whole sickness, I subsisted on one pound per day of 
coarse, unleavened wheat-meal crackers, with some fruit 
and spring water; and experienced no disorder of the 
siomach or bowels, but enjoyed, and still continue to 
enjoy far better health than I have experienced before 
for the last fifteen years. I also gained several pounds 
in weight during the cholera season. On looking over 
my notes of cholera cases, taken at the bedside of the 
patients, I find that the occasion of the disease could be 
traced, in a very large majority of cases, either to 
confirmed habits of intemperance, or to some prominent 
act of imprudence. I speak here of patients both in 
hospital and in private practice. Many people — and 
miong them, some of my own profession — have asserted 
that, simple vegetable diet is conducive to, and in many 
cases has actually produced cholera. I have taken 
considerable pains to investigate these matters, and in 
not a single instance have I been able to verify their 
assertions; — but on the contrary, I have uniformly found 
that every person who has strictly and judiciously ob- 
served such a diet under a well-regulated general regimen, 
has not only escaped the cholera, but enjoyed excellent 
general health." 


b. "After having been grievously afflicted for several 
years with dyspepsy," says Mr. A. Woodman, "I 
adopted a simple, vegetable diet, and entirely recovered 
my health. Through the cholera season, I subsisted 
almost entirely on coarse wheat-meal bread and water, 
and enjoyed the most perfect and uninterrupted health, 
and gained several pounds in weight. Our family, con- 
sisting of ten members, who lived on what the physicians 
call a more "generous diet," of flesh, fine bread, tea, 
coffee, &c. all had a pretty severe attack of cholera; and 
some of them two and some three attacks. — My brother 
David, a very healthy and robust young man, who lived 
as the rest of the family did, but used no spirits, went 
with me three several times through the cholera hospitals, 
to see the sick, and during the night following each time, 
he had a severe attack of cholera, while I had not even 
a premonitory symptom of the disease through the sea- 

c. "Myself, wife, and sister," says Mr. Evander D. 
Fisher, "had all been afflicted with poor health, and par- 
ticularly my wife and sister, for many years before we 
adopted our present mode of living on simple vegetable 
food. Neither of us has eaten any flesh since; — which 
is now more than a year. We spent the past summer in 
the city, and never enjoyed better health than we did 
through the whole cholera season. That dreadful dis- 
ease raged terribly all around us, and cut off, many of our 
neighbors, and even came into our house and attacked 
our mother, who did not live as we did, but ate flesh, &c; 
— and I was amongst the dying and the dead, and assist- 
ed in laying out and putting into their coffins at least a 
dozen dead bodies of those who had died of cholera, yet 
neither myself, wife nor sister, had the least premonitory 
symptom of cholera nor any other illness during the whole 

248 graham's lectures on the 

d. " We remained in the city during the cholera season 
last summer," says Mr. William Mitchell, "and living 
near one of the cholera hospitals, we daily saw the dying 
and the dead carried by our door. Our whole family 
except my mother, subsisted entirely on a simple vege- 
table and milk diet. My mother thought she required 
the more generous diet to which she had always been 
accustomed, and continued to eat flesh and live in the 
usual mode. She had a very severe attack of the chol- 
era, while the rest of us had not a symptom, but enjoyed 
the best of health through the whole season." 

e. "Four members of our large family," says Mrs. 
Pike, "lived strictly on a simple vegetable diet, during 
the cholera season, last summer, — eating no flesh and 
subsisting principally on coarse wheat-meal bread. They 
enjoyed excellent health, and none of them had the slight- 
est symptom of cholera during the season: while every 
other member of the family had more or less of that dis- 

/. " During the prevalence of the cholera last sum- 
mer," says Mrs. Harriet Wheeler, "all of our family had 
an attack of that disease, except myself. They ate 
flesh and lived in the usual manner. I ate no flesh, but 
lived strictly on a simple vegetable diet, consisting prin- 
cipally of coarse wheaten bread. But what, in all prob- 
ability, would have been my case, if that awful epidemic 
had found me in that condition of body, in which I was 
before I adopted my present mode of living! I verily 
believe I should not now be among the living on earth. 
Thanks to God, I am not only living, but well. I have 
scarcely known an hour's indisposition during the past 
twelve months. And what a change is this, after having 
been afflicted as I have been for more than twenty 


g. " Since about the year 1818," says Mr. Ferdinand 
L. Wilsey, " I have been afflicted with very feeble health. 
In the autumn of 1831, I commenced living on a simple 
vegetable diet; and continued to live in this manner very 
strictly during the cholera season, subsisting mainly on 
coarse wheaten bread. My health improved very much, 
and continued good through the summer. With a medical 
friend I attended many cases of the cholera, and stood 
over several patients and. administered to them and rubbed 
them, but had not a symptom of the disease; while my 
medical friend, who ate flesh and drank wine, and urged 
me to, had several attacks." 

h. " Myself and wife," says Mr. Edmund Van Yorx, 
"had long been in very feeble health, and laboring under 
many serious symptoms of pulmonary consumption, when 
we adopted a simple vegetable diet: — since which time 
our health has improved exceedingly. We and our 
children and . other members of our family spent the 
cholera season in the city, all living strictly on our plain 
vegetable diet. Our immediate neighborhood was exceed- 
ingly sickly. The cholera raged all around us, and the 
people died on every side of us. One man died next 
door, so near to us, that I could reach my hand out of 
my window into his room; and the offensive smell of his 
body after death, came in and scented our whole house; 
and yet none of us had any thing of the disease. I have 
two apprentices, both of whom lived as we did on a vege- 
table diet through the worst of the cholera season, with- 
out the least indisposition. The older one then went 
into the country where he spent two weeks, living quite 
generously on animal food, &c, and then returned to 
the city and took the cholera immediately; and had three 
physicians to keep him alive. The younger one con- 
tinued in the city adhering closely to his simple vegetable 

250 graham's lectures on the 

diet. His health improved very much indeed during 
the summer, and he had not the slightest symptom of 
cholera nor any other disease." 

i. " After having been afflicted with miserable health 
for many years," says Mr. David I. Burger, " I was 
induced to adopt a plain and simple vegetable diet, and 
by degrees, became more and more strict in my regimen, 
till I got on to a diet of coarse wheaten bread and pure 
rain-water exclusively. This regimen I observed rigor- 
ously through the whole cholera season, and not only 
became wholly relieved from all my ailments, but recov- 
ered and enjoyed the most entire and perfect health, — 
feeling strong, active, and cheerful. My sleep was as 
sweet as an infant's; and when I rose in the morning, I 
always felt fresh and clear and vigorous and sprightly, as 
I ever did in my boyhood. During the cholera season, I 
was very much among the sick of that terrible disease. 
Several times a day, I visited a family occupying a house 
belonging to me in James Street, and of which five 
members died. I stood over the beds of the sick, — 
handled their bodies — assisted in taking care of them, 
&c, and after the house was deserted, and others were 
afraid to enter it, I went into it, took up the beds, clothes 
and other things appertaining to the rooms from which 
the dead bodies had been removed, and carried them out 
of the house, and was three or four times a day there, 
handling the things, &c. — After this, I visited several 
other families who were sick of the same disease, — sat 
beside the sick by the hour, watched with them, rubbed 
them, lifted them, &c; yet through the whole season I 
had not the least touch of the complaint, nor the slightest 
indisposition of any kind. 

j. Benjamin Tytler,an aged Scotchman in the employ 
of Daniel Fanshaw, Esq., living on the simple vegetable 


diet, purposely exposed himself in almost every possible 
way, — frequenting the most infected parts of the city, but 
had not a symptom of the disease. 

k. William Goodell, Esq., Editor of the Genius of 
Temperance, who had been for many years afflicted with 
chronic diarrhoea, was relieved by a simple vegetable diet, 
and was much exposed during the cholera season, but 
wholly escaped an attack. 

/. James Whitelaw, a Scotch gentleman, had been 
afflicted in the same manner and recovered his health by 
the same means. He was daily in the midst of the 
cholera but had not a symptom himself. 

m. Mrs. Phebe Corlies, an excellent member of the 
society of Friends, had been most severely afflicted for 
thirty years with a chronic diarrhoea which had baffled 
every mode of medical treatment. She was relieved 
by a simple vegetable diet and correct general regimen, 
and enabled to remain in the city through the cholera 
season without a symptom of that complaint. 

n. Two sisters by the name of Primrose, had been 
out of health, and both recovered excellent health by 
adopting a simple vegetable diet and a correct general 
regimen. The older sister returned to her tea, coffee, 
flesh-meat, &c, — but the younger continued to adhere 
closely to her vegetable diet. During the prevalence of 
the cholera, the older sister was severely attacked and 
but just escaped with her life, while the younger sister 
nursed her — stood over her night and day, administered 
all her medicine, rubbed her body, took her breath, and 
even put her mouth to hers and kissed her when in a 
state of collapse, and yet had not a symptom of the 
disease, nor any indisposition during the whole season. 

o. William Cooke, wife and children, living strictly on 
a simple vegetable diet, enjoyed the best of health through 

252 graham's lectures on the 

the, cholera season, without having a symptom of that 
disease: while a young woman residing in the same fam- 
ily and eating flesh and living in the ordinary manner had 
three severe attacks. 

p. Dr. D. M. Rees, whose practice and success were 
at least equal to any other physician's in New York, 
declares that when the cholera broke out in that city and 
he was called to practise among it, he found that the 
disease was making its greatest ravages amongst the ex- 
cessive flesh-eaters, and he consequently went home and 
requested his family to abstain entirely from the use of 
flesh during the continuance of the epidemic in the city, 
and he and his family subsisted wholly on a vegetable and 
milk diet while the cholera prevailed, without having any 
thing of the disease-: — excepting in one instance, near the 
close of the sickness, when Mrs. R. without his know- 
ledge, partook of flesh-meat, and in a few hours after was 
taken with diarrhoea. — Precisely the same thing happened 
to Mr. Henry R. Piercy and his wife: — and Dr. Rees 
says that he advised all his friends to abstain from flesh, 
and that all who conformed strictly to his advice wholly 
escaped the disease. 

q. Dr. Tappan, who superintended the Park Hospital, 
has assured me that out of twelve house pupils (students 
of medicine and young physicians) who assisted him in 
the Hospital during the prevalence of the cholera, Mr. 
Sharrock, who had lived more than a year, very strictly 
on a simple vegetable diet, was the only one who entirely 
escaped all symptoms of the disease; all the others 
being attacked more or less violently, and some quite 

r. "My health was very feeble and I had suffered 
much from hemorrhage of the lungs," says Mr. Lewis 
St. John, of New York, "when I was induced, in the 


spring of 1832, to adopt a simple vegetable diet. From 
this change I almost immediately experienced consider- 
able benefit; and during the prevalence of the cholera in 
the city, I not only escaped all symptoms of that disease, 
but enjoyed much better health than usual. Being still 
feeble however, and dreading the effect of our northern 
winter, I left New York for Mobile, by water, in the 
fall of 1832. About forty other gentlemen left New 
York with me, in the same ship for the same place. 
We were shipwrecked on an island in the Gulf of Mex- 
ico, about half way between Key West and Havana-t- 
or ninety miles from the latter place. We remained on 
this island fourteen days: and were then taken off (sixty- 
five of us in all) and carried to Mobile in a schooner o£ 
sixty-seven tons. About one week after my arrival at 
Mobile, the cholera broke out there, and even came into 
the house where I boarded, but I had no symptom of it. 
I took no other precaution to avoid it except to adhere 
strictly to my simple mode of living, and washing every 
morning. I remained in that climate nearly four years.. 
Of the forty gentlemen who went out with me, every 
one was sick more or less within the first year, and some 
of them died; and within three years from the time of 
our arrival, a number of them died and many more of 
them were sick a great deal, and apparently came very 
near dying. Some of the most healthy and robust of the 
company were cut off in the vigor of manhood and the 
prime of life, and I followed them to the grave. Yet 
during my whole stay in Mobile, I enjoyed continually 
improving and uninterrupted health, and paid nothing for 
physic or physician. In the spring of 1836 I returned 
to the North with health wonderfully improved. While 
travelling in the month of August of the same year, not 
finding it convenient to adhere to my simple diet, I yield- 
vol. ii. 22 

254 graham's lectures on the 

ed to the exigency of circumstances, and lived as others 
did at the hotels and other places where I stopped. 
This brought on a pretty severe turn of bleeding at the 
lungs, which laid me up for a fortnight. The physician 
who attended me was very much surprised that my sys- 
tem was so little affected by the hemorrhage and recov- 
ered so soon, and declared that he never before saw such 
a case. After this I found that any considerable depart- 
ure from my simple mode of living was sure to admon- 
ish me with symptoms of my old complaint: but for the 
last fifteen months my habits have been regular, and I 
have had no bleeding; — tony general health is very much 
improved; — my lungs are stronger than they have been 
before for ten years, and my body is very vigorous. — 
About three months since, as a matter of experiment, I 
drank one cup of what is called good coffee. — Having 
been out of the habit of drinking it for many years, it 
operated powerfully as an emetic in fifteen minutes. 
When I had vomited freely I felt perfectly well again." 

§ 1093. I might continue to multiply cases of this kind 
to a very great extent, but I have already given enough 
to satisfy every unprejudiced mind, that a well-chosen 
vegetable diet is better than a mixed diet of vegetable 
and animal food, to enable the human body to resist the 
action of foreign morbific and pestilential causes. 

§ 1094. From the principles and facts already advanc- 
ed, it appears too evident to require much further rea- 
soning to prove that a pure vegetable diet, as a general 
rule, is better adapted to assist the diseased body in re- 
covering health, than flesh-meat or than even a mixed 
diet of animal and vegetable food. 

§ 1095. Tt is possible that in some instances, pernicious 
principles in the atmosphere or other foreign agents act- 
ing on the system through the lungs or through the cu- 


taneous organs or functions, may be the principal causes 
of disease. But as a general fact, these causes are 
mainly adventitious or supplementary — coming in to 
prostrate the system which was previously poising to its 
fall, and as it were, to give a determinate direction and 
uniity of effect to the co-operation of many other causes. 

§ 1096. In general therefore, the predisposing, — 
and for the most part, the immediately exciting causes 
of disease in the human body, are to be found within the 
precincts of man's dietetic and other voluntary' habits and 
actions: (§ 1082.) and probably, his dietetic errors are 
by far the most extensive source of his disease. 

§ 1097. Whether we embrace the scheme of humoral 
pathology or either of the other two which have been 
named, (§1071. — 1073.) we must admit that, as a gen- 
eral fact, organic irritation, disturbing the functions and 
deteriorating the functional results and inducing a morbid 
condition of the solids, (§1077.) leading to acute 
and chronic inflammation, general fever, local disease, 
change of structure, &c. &c. is the ordinary source of 
our diseases: and these irritations are produced by the 
dietetic use of substances unfriendly to vitality and to 
the physiological interests of our bodies; and by the im- 
proper qualities and quantities and conditions of our food; 
and by many other means and circumstances pertaining to 
our dietetic and other voluntary habits and actions. (§520.) 
But, by whatever cause induced, disease, when once 
established in the system, can only be removed by the 
constitutional economy of the living body, — by the healthy 
functions of the several organs. Yet so long as irrita- 
tion is kept up the healthy functions of the organs can- 
not be restored. 

§ 109S. The only aid therefore, that human skill and 
science can afford the diseased body in recovering health, 

256 graham's lectures on the 

is, with strict regard to the physiological properties and 
laws of the sytem, to assist it, as far as possible, in throw- 
ing off oppressions, removing obstructions and all irri- 
tating causes, and in subduing irritations, and restoring 
healthy action and function. And in order to this, it is 
requisite, in the first place, that the physician should well 
understand the physiological powers and laws of the 
body: — in the second place, that he should understand 
the nature of the disease:- — and in the third place, as a 
general rule, that he should fully and clearly ascertain the 
cause of the disease. For, as Hippocrates justly observes, 
"the man who attempts to cure a disorder without know- 
ing the cause, is like a blind man, or one groping in the 
dark; — he is as likely to do harm as good." 

§ 1099. It is true that there are some instances of acute 
disease, in which the symptoms are so violent that the 
physician cannot safely delay his practice, to investigate 
the case extensively, and ascertain obscure, remote and 
accumulative causes, before he endeavors to subdue the 
violent symptoms and mitigate the sufferings of his patient. 
But as a general rule, even in acute disease, the physi- 
cian acts not wisely who prescribes a remedy before he 
has carefully inquired after the cause. For, all he does 
without a knowledge of the cause, is necessarily groping 
in the dark: he may relieve or he may aggravate the 
symptoms with equal credit to his skill and science. So 
far as his agency is concerned, it is a pure contingency, 
whether he kills or cures. Thus, to state a real case, 
(§ 597.) a physician is called to a patient laboring under 
violent delirium; — without inquiring carefully after the 
cause, he treats the case according to his view of the 
symptoms, and bleeds copiously, and rapidly reduces the 
patient, without mitigating the symptoms in the least: — 
another physician is calk 


taining the cause; this done, an emetic is prescribed, and 
soon a large quantity of undigested beef and pickled cu- 
cumbers, is thrown from the stomach, and instantly the 
symptoms disappear and the patient is restored to reason, 
and shortly to health. Had the first physician in this 
case, continued his practice, he would surely have killed 
his patient. Cases of this kind are continually occurring 
in society; and the effects of the mal-practice are always 
attributed to the incorrigibleness of the disease, and man- 
kind rest satisfied, in their ignorance and unbounded cre- 

§ 1100. In chronic disease, all practice which is not 
based upon a careful and thorough investigation of the 
causes, as well as the symptoms of the case, is in fact, 
nothing but downright quackery; and far more frequently 
does harm than good. For in such practice, the causes 
of the disease, existing in the dietetic and other voluntary 
habits of the patient, (§ 1077.) are suffered to remain and 
constantly exert their morbific influence by which the 
disease was originally induced, and continues to be per- 
petuated. Nay indeed, those very causes are frequently 
employed as remedial agents to remove the disease which 
they have originated and are perpetuating. Thus I have 
in multitudes of instances, seen people who had been se- 
verely afflicted for years, by diseases which were princi- 
pally induced by the habitual use of alcoholic and narcotic 
substances, and which had been kept alive by the con- 
tinued use of those substances as medicine: — and all that 
was necessary to remove the diseases and restore the 
sufferers to health, was to take away their medicine. 
Again, L have seen instances in which individuals had suf- 
fered under the most cruel affections of the heart and head 
and other parts, and submitted to medical treatment for 

t on taking away their tea 

258 graham's lectures on the 

and coffee, which were the principal, originating and per- 
petuating causes of their sufferings, they were soon re- 
stored to perfect health. But the practitioners had whol- 
ly overlooked or entirely disregarded these causes, and 
•suffered them to keep alive the symptoms which they 
were combating with their medicine; and by their medi- 
cine rendering their patients only the more morbidly sus- 
septible to the effects of those morbific causes. And I 
have seen hundreds of miserable dyspeptics, who had 
suffered almost every thing for years, — scores of those 
whose symptoms strongly indicated pulmonary consump- 
tion — and sometimes apparently in its advanced stage, — 
many who had been for years afflicted with epileptic and 
other kinds of fits and spasmodic affections, — or with 
cruel asthma, or sick-headache, — in short, I have seen 
nearly every form of chronic disease, with which the hu- 
man body is afflicted in civilized life, after resisting almost 
every kind of medical treatment for months and years, 
yield in a very short time, to a correct diet and well 
regulated general regimen. And why was all this? Be- 
cause, in almost every case the diseases had been origi- 
nated and perpetuated by dietetic errors; and the prac- 
titioners had been unsuccessful, because with all their 
administration of medicine, they had suffered those dietetic 
errors to remain undisturbed, unquestioned — nay, per- 
haps even recommended. 

§ 1101. Hippocrates, who possessed one of the most 
powerful and discriminating minds ever devoted to medi- 
cine, depended mainly on regimen for the cure of disease. 
His first business was to ascertain the character of the 
disease, — then the cause or causes; and then he proceed- 
ed to remove, as far as possible, all extrinsic or external 
causes, existing in dietetic habits, &c, and if he found 
internal causes. requiring medicine for their removal, he 


gave medicine. But his materials of medicine were few 
and simple, and only used to a very limited extent. — In 
fact, as I have already said, (§ 1078.) a free and contin- 
ued use of medicine in almost every case, only evinces 
a want of true skill and science in the practitioner. — It is 
indeed, the appropriate business of the quack to drug 
mankind to death: and the enlightened and philanthropic 
duty of the physician, to assist nature in strict accordance 
with her own fixed laws. In chronic disease, at least, 
but little medicine can be given, without doing more harm 
than good. A single dose or two, or a few doses at most, 
to remove obstructions and prepare the way for a correct 
regimen, is, as a general rule, all that can be wisely used: 
and whatsoever is more than this is evil. 

§1102. The great question is, how to remove all 
irritation from the system, and restore each part to 
healthy action and condition. But almost all the articles 
of medicine, not excepting those called tonics, are either 
directly or indirectly irritating and debilitating in their 
effects on the living body; and therefore, should be 
avoided as far as possible. Many of the articles of diet 
ordinarily used in civilized life, are also decidedly irritating 
and pernicious: and many of the modes of preparing 
food, are sources of irritation to the system. In fact, 
when the body is seriously diseased, even the necessaiy 
functions of alimentation, under the very best regimen, 
are, to a considerable extent, the sources of irritation: — 
and were it possible to sustain life without nutrition, 
entire and protracted fasting would be the very best 
means in many cases, of removing disease and restoring 
health. I have'seen wonderful effects result from exper- 
iments of this kind. But nutrition must be sustained; and 
the grand problem is how it can be sustained to the neces- 
sary extent, with the least degree of irritation to the 

260 graham's lectures on the 

diseased parts, or with the least possible increase of dis- 
eased action. In solving this problem, the physician 
requires the aid of profound science. It is necessary 
that he should thoroughly understand the physiological 
properties and laws of the human body, and its constitu- 
tional relations, and the qualities of alimentary and medi- 
cinal substances in relation to the organization and to the 
vital properties and powers of the body. With such 
scientific qualifications, with sound judgment and mature 
experience, he will be able to adapt his regimen to the 
particular condition of his patient, — to remove, as far as 
possible, every irritating cause, in the quality, quantity 
and condition of the diet, and to retain only such articles 
as will afford sufficient salutary nourishment, with the 
least degree of irritation and excitement; while at the 
same time, it is best adapted to promote the particular 
and general functions of the alimentary and other organs 
of the system. 

§ 1103. Such a physician, if he gives his mind fully 
to the subject, will discover in the course of a few years, 
at longest, that though in particular cases, where individ- 
uals have long been accustomed to a free use of animal 
food, it may be inexpedient to make too sudden and en- 
tire a change of diet, and though great improvements may 
be made in health, on a plain and temperate mixed diet, 
and in some instances, the patient may increase in flesh 
and strength most rapidly, for a season, on animal food, 
yet as a general fact, however well ordered his regimen 
in other respects, if he retains any portion of flesh-meat 
in the diet of his patient, he in some measure retards, if 
he does not prevent, his complete restoration to perfect 
and permanent health. He will find that it is much more 
stimulating in proportion to the quantity of nourishment 
which it actually affords the system, and consequently 

Science of human life. 261 

causes a greater exhaustion of the functional powers of 
the organs of assimilation and nutrition, than pure and 
proper vegetable food, (§916.) — that it always increases 
the general excitement and diseased action of the system, 
and tends to perpetuate its morbid irritability and suscep- 
tibility; and produces fluids and humors, less bland and 
genial to the solids, (§ 690.) and in all respects less 
adapted to promote the prophylactic and sanative process 
of the vital economy. 

§ 1104. The celebrated Dr. Cheyne, of England, who 
flourished about a hundred years ago, says — " For those 
who are extremely broken down with chronic disease, 
I have found no other relief than a total abstinence from 
all animal food; and from all sorts of strong and fermented 
liquors. In about thirty years' practice, in which I have 
in some degree or other, advised this method in proper 
cases, I have had but two cases in whose total recovery 
I have been mistaken: and they were both too deeply 
diseased and too far gone for recovery before I undertook 
with them." — Dr. Lambe, of England, now upwards of 
seventy years old, after a very long, extensive and suc- 
cessful practice, speaks most decidedly against the use of 
animal food of any kind in chronic disease. — And during 
the last seven years, my own opportunity to prove the 
virtues of different kinds of diet in chronic disease, has 
probably been more extensive than that of any other 
individual in any age; and I have, as a general rule, 
always found that a pure and well-regulated vegetable 
diet, under a correct general regimen, is decidedly better 
than that which contains any portion of animal food. I 
have, it is true, met with some invalids, whose general 
physiological condition seemed to require that a portion 
of animal food should be retained in their diet for a few 
weeks and perhaps a few months, till the general slug- 

262 grahaai's lectures on the 

gishness and torpor of their systems could be overcome; 
but such cases are not common; while on the other hand, 
as I have already stated, (§ 1100.) I have seen multitudes 
of chronic diseases of every name and type, which had 
long and incorrigibly withstood medical treatment of 
every kind, yield, — in some instances, immediately, and 
in others, in a few weeks or months, to a pure vegetable 
diet, and general regimen regulated by physiolcgical 
principles. I could fill a large volume with well-authen- 
ticated and most interesting, detailed accounts of a very 
great variety of cases of chronic disease, cured in this 
manner. But this is not the place for such a detail. 

§ 1105. In regulating the diet of chronic patients, 
however, it should always be remembered that the ex- 
tensiveness and suddenness of any change should corre- 
spond with the physiological and pathological condition 
and circumstances of the individual: and most especially 
should it be remembered that the diseased organ or 

ITY of the system. If the boiler of a steam-engine 
is powerful enough in some parts, to bear a pressure of 
fifty pounds to the square inch, while in some other parts, 
it can only bear ten pounds to the square inch, we know 
that it would not do for an engineer to make the strongest 
parts of the boiler the standard of its general ability or 
power, and to attempt to raise a pressure of forty pounds 
to the square inch, because some parts can bear fifty 
pounds: — for in such an attempt, he would surely burst 
the boiler at its weakest parts. He must therefore, make 
the weakest parts the standard of the general power of 
the boiler, and only raise such a pressure of steam as 
those parts can safely bear. So he who has diseased 
lungs or liver or any other part, while at the same time 
he has a vigorous stomach, must not regulate the quality 


and quantity of his food by the ability of his stomach, 
but by the ability of the diseased part. This rule is of 
the utmost importance to the invalid, and one which 
cannot be disregarded with impunity, and yet it is con- 
tinually and almost universally violated. Few things are 
more common than to find individuals, who are laboring 
under severe chronic disease, indulging in very improper 
qualities and quantities of food and other dietetic errors, 
and still strongly contending for the propriety of their habits 
and practices, on the ground that " their stomachs never 
trouble them.'''' Alas! they know not that the stomach 
is the principal source of all their troubles: (§ 521.) yet 
by adopting a correct regimen and strictly adhering to it 
for a short time, they would experience such a mitigation 
of their sufferings, if not such a restoration to health, 
as would fully convince them of the serious impropriety of 
making a comparatively vigorous stomach the standard of 
the physiological ability of a system otherwise diseased. 
§ 1106. Another equally common error of opinion, is 
that the fleshiness and the muscular power of the body 
are to be considered as criteria of the excellence of any 
regimen prescribed for a chronic invalid. Every intelli- 
gent person knows that, when an individual is taken with 
an acute disease of a highly inflammatory character, the 
physician cuts off all food at once, and adopts a course 
of treatment which rapidly reduces his strength and flesh; 
because it is believed that there is no other way of 
arresting the progress of the disease and preventing fatal 
consequences, but by greatly reducing the general action 
of he vital powers: — for always, when the action of the 
vital powers is diseased action, the more violent it is, 
the sooner will it destroy the vital constitution of the 
diseased part or parts, and the more speedily will it 
break up the vital economy of the system. But the 

264 graham's lectures on the 

main difference between acute and chronic disease, is in 
the degree of the morbid activity of the vital powers: and 
if we would not indulge in " a generous diet of highly- 
seasoned flesh-meat, rich pastry, wine, &c. when laboring 
under acute inflammation of the pleura, lest we should 
destroy life by the violence of a general fever, and the 
mortification of the inflamed part, with what propriety 
can w T e indulge in such a diet, when laboring under a 
chronic inflammation of the same or any other part, since 
the chronic inflammation as certainly tends to change of 
structure as the acute, though with less rapidity and 
violence; — with less rapidity, because the morbid activity 
of the vital powers is less, excessive, and with less 
violence, because the conservative economy of the system 
makes less resistance to the progress of the disease, 
(§ 1077.) but, as it were, more quietly succumbs and 
suffers the enemy with stealthy death-tread, to march 
perhaps unsuspected, into the citadel of life. (§739.) 
Nevertheless, the chronic invalid himself, and generally 
his friends, and sometimes also, his physician seem to 
think that fleshiness and muscular strength, are the things 
mainly to be desired and sought for, and that any 
prescribed regimen is more or less correct and salutary, 
in proportion as it is conducive to these ends. Whereas 
if they were properly enlightened, they would know that 
the more they nourish a body while diseased action is 
kept up in it, the more they increase the disease. The 
grand, primary object to be aimed at by the invalid, is to 
overcome and remove diseased action and condition, and 
restore all parts to health, and then nourish the body with 
a view to fleshiness and strength, as fast as the feeblest 
parts of the system will bear, without breaking down 
again. And the regimen best adapted to remove the 
diseased action and condition, more frequently than 


otherwise, causes a diminution of flesh and muscular 
strength — while the disease remains — in regulating the 
general function of nutrition to the ability of the diseased 
part. (§ 1105.) But when the diseased action ceases, 
and healthy action takes place, the same regimen perhaps, 
will increase the flesh and strength as rapidly as the highest 
welfare of the constitution will admit. 

§1107. Some invalids, after trying the virtues of 
medicine and generous living for many years, with a 
continual increase of their sufferings, have adopted a 
simple vegetable diet and severe general regimen, and 
very soon experienced a great alleviation of their distress, 
and in the course of a few months, an entire removal of 
their disease, and a restoration of the healthy action and 
condition of every part. But at the same time, and by 
the same means, they have also experienced a great 
diminution of flesh and muscular strength; and believing 
that there can be no health without these, and having 
neither faith nor patience to wait for the more slow and 
safe effects of a mild, unstimulating diet, they have, after 
subduing their disease by their abstemious regimen, 
returned to the use of flesh-meat and to a generous living, 
and, for awhile, increased in flesh and strength with great 
rapidity; and of course, believed that their restoration to 
health was wholly attributable to their generous diet; and 
that if they had persisted in their abstemiousness, it would 
surely have killed them. — It is strange that such people 
can so soon forget that, before they adopted their abste- 
mious regimen, all the animal food and wine and medicine 
they could swallow, failed to give them flesh or strength; 
but on the contrary, only increased their sufferings. 
This however, is but one of the innumerable delusions 
with which mankind are cursed: and happy is it for them, 
if it does not soon lead them into deeper and more 
vol. ii. 23 

2GG graiiam's lectures on the 

inextricable difficulties than those from which they have 
been relieved. 

Diet with Reference to Longevity. 

§ 1108. Concerning the comparative effects of animal 
and vegetable food in prolonging human life, the princi- 
ples which I have already explained, (§ 683. — 6S9. 919. 
92G. 975.) and the facts which I have presented, are 
such as to leave little necessity for physiological discus- 
sion and demonstration in regard to this point. 

§1109. There is no more general and invariable phys- 
iological law appertaining to the animal kingdom, and, 
indeed, to the whole organic world, than this. (§ 975.) — 
The more slowly the healthy and complete vital func- 
tions are performed — the more slowly living bodies are 
developed and attain to maturity, the longer will be the 
natural duration of life. (§ G88.) It is admitted by all 
eminent physiologists, that intensive and extensive life are 
incompatible. " The more slowly man grows," says 
professor Hufeland, "the later he attains to maturity 
and the longer all his powers are in expanding, the long- 
er will be the duration of his life, — as the existence of a 
creature is lengthened in proportion to the time required 
for expansion. Every thing therefore, that hastens vital 
consumption, shortens life; and consequently, the more 
intensive the vital action, the shorter the life." (§ 1000.) 
We have seen that the human body is formed from fluids, 
(§ 146.) that in early childhood all the solids are exceed- 
ingly pulpy and moist, (§ 684.) that the proportion of the 
fluids to the solids is very great — more than ten to one — 
and that as life advances, even under the most favorable 
circumstances, the relative proportion of the fluids gradu- 
ally diminishes, and that of the solids increases; (§ 688.) 


and, at a certain period, depending in a measure on the 
general habits of the individual, all the solids begin to be 
less pulpy and to become more dry, inflexible, inelastic 
and unyielding, — producing the various phenomena of old 
age. (§ 998.) We have seen also, that this change in 
the relative proportion of the fluids and solids, may be 
effected more slowly or rapidly, according to the dietetic 
and other voluntary habits of the individual: (§ 690.) — 
and moreover, that a change in the relative qualities and 
conditions of the fluids and solids, may be very rapidly 
effected by dietetic and other voluntary errors, causing 
irritation and disease, and bringing on premature old age, 
with a thousand-fold more decrepitude and infirmity, than 
are incident to the most extreme natural old age. (§ 691.) 

§ 1110. All alcoholic liquors of every kind, distilled 
and fermented, — all narcotic substances, fluid and solid, 
(§ 973.) all pure stimulants, or those substances which 
stimulate without nourishing the body, (§ 743.) all im- 
proper quantities and qualities of food, — all pernicious 
preparations and conditions of aliment, — all inordinate 
exercise of the passions, in short, all things that produce 
over-excitement and irritation in the system, increase the 
intensity of life, hasten the changes in the relative pro- 
portion, qualities and conditions of the fluids and solids 
of the body, and shorten the period of its existence. — 
Hence professor Hufeland very justly observes, — "If 
you would live long, live modei'ately, and avoid a stimu- 
lating, heating diet; such as a great deal of flesh, eggs, 
chocolate, wine and spices." 

§ 111-1. I do not however, intend to class flesh with 
alcoholic and narcotic and other intoxicating and stimu- 
lating substances, as equally pernicious to the physiologi- 
cal properties of the human body; but I simply intend to 
compare it with a pure, well-ordered vegetable diet. — 

2G8 graham's lectures on the 

And here again, (§ 10S5.) I acknowledge that an exclu- 
sively vegetable diet, with every other circumstance un- 
favorable to life, will not sustain human existence so well 
and so long as a mixed diet of* vegetable and animal food 
with every other circumstance favorable to longevity. 
The Hindoos for instance, subsist mostly on vegetable 
food,*but as we have seen, (§ 1031.) they always eat 
with that food, an excessive quantity of stimulating, heat- 
ing and irritating spices. And from the highest to the 
lowest — males and females — old and young — from morn- 
ing till night, they smoke a composition containing opium; 
and almost every man, woman and child habitually, and 
often to a very great excess, chews a cud composed of 
opium, lime and betel-nut, wrapped up in a sera-leaf of 
very acrid and pungent qualities. The properties of the 
betel-nut are too sharp and violent to be borne without 
being qualified by the arec-nut and a little lime. Tobac- 
co, one of the worst of narcotics, and arrack, a very in- 
toxicating, fiery and destructive alcoholic liquor are also 
in common and excessive use among them. They mar- 
ry at twelve, and even ten years of age, — are unboundedly 
licentious, indolent and inactive; and their climate is by 
no means the most favorable to long life. Is it strange 
then, that such people should afford comparatively few 
instances of longevity? — Yet it is common for the Bra- 
mins of India, who are strictly temperate and of correct 
general habits, to attain to a hundred years. (§ 796.) 

§ 1112. In comparing the effects of vegetable and ani- 
mal food on the human body, with reference to long life, 
therefore, the simple question is whether — all other things 
being precisely equal — flesh-meat is as conducive to lon- 
gevity in man as a well-chosen and well-ordered vegetable 
diet: — and to this question I affirm that, both physiologi- 
cal science and fact fully and unequivocally answer no! 


§1113. As I have repeatedly stated (§91G.) and as 
every physiologist must admit, flesh is always of a more 
stimulating and heating nature, causes a more rapid pulse, 
(§919.) a hotter skin, — hastens all the vital functions of 
the body, (§924.) causes a greater exhaustion of the vital 
powers of the organs, and wears out the human constitu- 
tion considerably faster than a proper vegetable diet. 
Hence, great longevity is never found among those tribes 
and portions of the human family who subsist principally 
or entirely on animal food, or flesh-meat. The Patago- 
nians, with a climate and almost every other circumstance 
except their diet, exceedingly favorable to longevity, 
rarely attain to seventy years of age: and the average 
duration of life is greater with them than with any other 
flesh-eating tribe or nation. (§ 981.) 

§ 1114. We have already seen (§ 779.) that, according 
to all history and tradition, the primitive inhabitants of 
the earth subsisted entirely on vegetable food, and lived 
to a very great age. (641.) The ancient Chinese, who 
subsisted on rice and water, are said to have been 
remarkable for their great longevity. " The Pythagoreans 
who lived on a simple vegetable diet," says Hufeland, 
" afforded the most numerous instances of old age." — 
" The Essenes, as we call a sect of ours," says Josephus, 
" live the same kind of life as do those whom the Greeks 
call Pythagoreans. They are long-lived also, insomuch 
that many of them live above a hundred years, by means 
of their simplicity of diet, and the regular course of their 
lives." (§ 797. 798.) 

§ 1115. In fact, it is true of those portions of all the 
ancient tribes and nations, who preceded the period of lux- 
ury, (§648.) and who subsisted, on a plain, simple, coarse 
and natural diet of vegetables, fruits, and water, that they 
possessed great bodily vigor, and lived to a very great 

270 graham's lectures on the 

age, exempt from most of the diseases of body and mind, 
which so abundantly afflict the luxurious and the intem- 
perate. "It has been established by nature on the best 
grounds," says Hufeland "that, our nourishment should 
be used in a form rather coarse; — securing full mastication 
and insalivation and a longer retention in the stomach. — 
Plain, simple food only, promotes moderation and longev- 
ity; while compounded and luxurious food shortens 
life." " The most extraordinary instances of longevity," 
continues Hufeland, " are to be found among those 
classes of mankind, who, amidst bodily labor, and the 
open air, lead a simple life agreeable to nature; such as 
farmers, gardeners, hunters, &c. The more man follows 
nature, and is obedient to her laws, the longer will he live: 
— the further he deviates from these, the shorter will be 
his existence. (§735.) This is one of the most general 
of laws. In the same districts therefore, so long as the 
inhabitants lead a temperate life, as shepherds or hunters, 
they will attain to old age, but as soon as they become 
civilized, and by such means sink into luxury, dissipation 
and corruption, their duration of life will be shortened. 
It is therefore, not the rich and great, — not those who 
take gold tinctures and wonder-working medicines, who 
become old; but country laborers, farmers, &c. — Mor- 
tality prevails in the greatest degree where men deviate 
most from nature, — where her most sacred laws are 
despised. Rich and nourishing food, and an immoderate 
use of flesh do not prolong life. Instances of the greatest 
longevity are to be found among men, who from their 
youth, lived principally on vegetables, and who perhaps 
never tasted flesh. Even very sound health may shorten 
the duration of life: and on the other hand, a certain kind of 
weakness maybe the best means of prolonging it." (§670.) 
§ 1116. Such are the opinions which one of the most 


distinguished medical men in Germany has embraced and 
published, after the most careful and extensive research 
on the subject of human life; and 1 am the more gratified 
to cite them from such authority, because I had advanced 
them in my public lectures for three years, before I knew 
that they had been expressed by Hufeland or any one 
else. I might proceed to corroborate the physiological 
principles and general statements which I have advanced, 
by a very extensive and interesting detail of individual 
cases of extraordinary longevity. — I might narrate the 
case of Robert Bowman, who, subsisting wholly on a 
vegetable and milk diet of the plainest and simplest kind, 
retained his bodily vigor and mental and moral powers 
to very great age, — who, when a hundred years old, joined 
the chase and ran after the hounds: and at the age of a 
hundred and twelve assisted his family in the harvest 
field. — Or the case of the French peasant, who, subsisting 
on coarse, brown bread baked semi-annually, and goats' 
milk, and breathing the pure air of the mountains on the 
borders of Switzerland, retained all his faculties and 
powers to the age of a hundred and fifteen, with uninter- 
rupted health, and remarkable vigor and activity; and at 
the age of a hundred and twenty was carried to Paris and 
presented to the king; and there, by a change of diet 
and other circumstances, rapidly declined for two or 
three years and died. — Or the case of Thomas Parr, of 
England, who subsisted almost all his life on bread, milk, 
old cheese and whey, and who, at the age of a hundred 
and thirty, was able to perform every kind of work of a 
laborer, — who when a hundred and forty years old 
manifested little of the failing of age, and who was 
removed to London, where an entire change took place 
in his mode of living, and he soon died at the age of one 
hundred and fifty-two. Yet, judging from the condition in 

272 Graham's lectures on the 

which all his viscera were found on examination after 
death, it was the opinion of Dr. Harvey that he might 
have lived till he was two hundred years old, had he 
remained in his native country air, and continued his 
regular, plain, simple and temperate hahits. — Or I might 
narrate the case of Henry Jenkins, of England, who, 
subsisting much in the same manner as Parr did, retained 
his faculties and powers in great vigor, for nearly a 
century and a half, and with little abatement, carried 
them up to the age of a hundred and sixty-nine: — or the 
case of Demetrius Craboski, who was recently living near 
Polask, on the frontiers of Lithuania, at the age of one 
hundred and sixty-eight. — " This Russian Methuselah," 
says the St. Petersburgh Gazette, "has always led the 
humble and tranquil life of a shepherd, assisted by his two 
sons, the eldest of whom, Paul, is one hundred and twenty, 
and the younger, Anatole, ninety-seven years old."* 
But it is more entertaining than useful to devote our time 
and attention to such details. There are, as I have frequent- 
ly remarked, (§ 995.) so many modifying circumstances 
and causes, to be taken into consideration when reasoning 
from individual experience, that without the best physio- 
logical knowledge to guide us in our researches, we are 
quite as likely to arrive at erroneous as at correct conclu- 
sions. (§663. 664.) 

§1117. There are two grand facts however, in rela- 

* Indeed, it is very common for native Russians living on a coarse and 
scanty vegetable diet, even in that severe climate, to exceed a hundred 
years of life. The late returns of the Greek Church population of the 
Russian empire, give, in the table of deaths of the male sex, more than 
one thousand over a hundred years of age. There were forty-nine 
between a hundred and fifteen and a hundred and twenty; — forty 
between a hundred and twenty and a hundred and twenty-five; — sixteen 
between a hundred and twenty-five and a hundred and forty; and four 
between a hundred and forty and a hundred and fifty. 


tion to this matter, worthy of all consideration. The 
one is that, when individuals who have lived to old age 
on simple vegetable food, begin in advanced life to par- 
take of animal food, the infirmities of age always increase 
upon them with a manifestly increased rapidity; and they 
rarely long survive the change. The other is that, when 
individuals who have lived to sixty or seventy years of 
age and upwards on a mixed diet of vegetable and animal 
food and begun to feel much of the decrepitude of old 
age and to experience many of its infirmities, if before 
they are completely broken down and brought upon their 
deathbeds, they adopt a well-chosen vegetable diet and 
good general regimen, they always greatly improve in 
health, — throw off many if not most or all of their infirmi- 
ties, and retrieve much of the activity and vivacity of 
earlier life. (§1057.) I have witnessed this fact in nu- 
merous instances. (§ 1013.) — But I have said enough on 
this point. No intelligent and unprejudiced individual 
can faithfully examine this subject, and long remain in 
doubt that a pure and well-ordered vegetable diet is bet- 
ter adapted, than one containing any portion of flesh- 
meat, to prolong human life and to preserve the elasticity 
and activity of the body, and the vivacity and cheerful- 
ness and vigor of the mind. (§ 692.) 

Diet with Reference to Prolificness and Endurance of 


§ 11 18. There are two other departments of evidence 
pertaining to the physiological powers common to all 
organized bodies, which require a brief consideration, be- 
cause they have been preoccupied by the advocates for 
the carnivorous character of man, and insisted on as 
affording irrefragable proof of the constitutional necessity 

274 graham's lectures on the 

of at least some portion of flesh-meat in the diet of hu- 
man beings. The first relates to the perpetuation of the 
species, and the second to the ability of the human body 
to endure the intense cold of the frigid zones. 

§1119. It has been asserted by Buflbn and others, 
and is perhaps generally believed by professional men in 
flesh-eating countries, that " if man were obliged to ab- 
stain totally from flesh, he would not multiply." (§S11.) 
To an intelligent and unsophisticated mind, this position 
must, on a little reflection at least, appear so palpably 
erroneous, that it hardly seems necessary to attempt a 
serious refutation of it. Yet, when we consider how 
powerful is the force of education, preconceived and 
long-cherished opinion, and deeply established habit, we 
are less surprised that men of certain kinds of training, 
should cling to opinions which the}' have been systemat- 
ically taught to believe indubitably true; and we see the 
importance of endeavoring to set men right even in re- 
gard to errors which are most obviously preposterous. 

§1120. It is not necessary that I should enter into 
any physiological reasonings on this point. If, as I have 
endeavored to show, a pure and well-chosen vegetable 
diet is best adapted to sustain the organic economy of 
the human body in all other respects, (§ 926.) it cannot 
be possible in the nature of things, that this particular 
point is a special exception to the general physiological 
laws of the system. And on this point, we may with 
more propriety than in regard to almost any other, ap- 
peal directly to the general history of the human kind. — 
We know that in all times, and in all climates, those por- 
tions of the human family which subsist mostly or entire- 
ly on vegetable food, are vastly more prolific than those 
portions which subsist mostly or entirely on animal food. 
■ — The purely flesh-eating tribes are never prolific. In- 


deed, as a general law, the number of births among them 
in a given time, rarely much exceeds the number of 
deaths: and hence, such tribes, if they continue to be 
strictly carnivorous, generally remain for centuries with 
very little increase in their numbers; and sometimes, even 
in the most favorable climates, they slowly decrease. 

§ 1121. There is probably no purely carnivorous por- 
tion of the human family whose climate, quality of food, 
habits and circumstances generally, are more genial to the 
physiological interests of the human body and more favor- 
able to the multiplication of the species than those of the 
Patagonians. (§981.) If therefore, flesh-meat were 
adapted to render the human species prolific, the Pata- 
gonians ought to multiply very rapidly. But the reverse 
of this is signally true. For three hundred years at 
least, they have inhabited a country whose mild climate 
and salubrious atmosphere arc exceedingly favorable to 
human life; and yet in all eastern Patagonia south of the 
Rio Negro — an extent of country which might contain a 
population of several millions, there are at the present 
day less than eight hundred inhabitants. If this fact were 
owing to the mere scarcity of the food on which they 
subsist, then it would appear either that they have taken 
precautionary measures to prevent too great an increase 
of population, or else that, whenever the population ex- 
ceeds the alimentary supplies of the country, they have 
swarmed like bees, and sent off the excess of their pop- 
ulation to some other part of the country. But neither 
of these hypotheses is true. They are as prolific as they 
can be, and yet their number is vastly less than might be 
sustained by the alimentary resources of the country. 
Though prone, like all other human beings in similar 
circumstances, to indulge in the use of tobacco and intox- 
icating drinks, yet they are so situated, and hitherto, 

276 graham's lectures on the 

have had so little commerce with the rest of the world, 
that they have been able to procure only occasional and 
very scanty supplies of those articles, and therefore, have 
probably never suffered to any considerable extent from 
the use of them. Neither is there any evidence that their 
population has been often and considerably reduced by 
frequent and destructive wars, nor by epidemic disease 
or pestilence. There is therefore, the strongest evidence 
that the nature of their food is the principal if not the 
only cause of their being so unprolific: and this conclu- 
sion is powerfully corroborated by the general fact al- 
ready stated, (§ 1120.) that all tribes and nations subsist- 
ing wholly on flesh and fish are remarkably unprolific. 
The inhabitants of Terra del Fuego, we have seen, 
(§ 980. /) have the greatest abundance of animal food 
and yet their number is very small. 

§ 1122. On the other hand, we find the vegetable-eating 
portions of the human family are so exceedingly prolific 
that they are constantly under the necessity of devising 
means and adopting measures to check or to dispose of 
the excess of population. To say nothing of the vege- 
table-eating millions of Asia, with whom the very earth 
and atmosphere seem to teem, we find nearer home a 
fact so signal and so notorious, that it is greatly marvel- 
lous that it has never met the eye and fixed the attention 
of those philosophers who so strenuously contend for the 
necessity of a portion of flesh-meat in (he diet of man. 
It is well known to almost every body in Europe and 
America, that a very large majority of the inhabitants of 
Ireland, from generation to generation, never partake of 
flesh-meat enough to have any appreciable physiological 
effect on the organic economy of their bodies; and yet 
Ireland, besides being at all times in such a state of over- 
fulness of population, as to be constantly threatened, and 


frequently suffering with extensive distress from want of 
food, and the lives of hundreds of thousands are shorten- 
ed by starvation, has poured out such a tide of emigration 
that she has deluged England, Scotland and America, 
with her naturally hardy and energetic offspring. 

§ 1123. On the whole therefore, the true evidence in 
the case, when correctly apprehended and accurately 
appreciated, instead of serving in any measure, to prove 
that the integrity of any function in the organic economy of 
the human body, requires that flesh-meat should form a 
portion of the diet of man, goes very powerfully and 
conclusively to prove that the physiological interests of 
the human constitution are in every respect, best sustained 
by a pure vegetable diet. (§ 99G.) 
• §1124. In regard to the necessity for flesh-meat to 
enable the human body to endure severe cold, it is con- 
tended that God, in creating man with a constitutional 
capability of acclimating himself to the wintry regions 
of the North, has made it essential to his most perfect 
and successful adaptation to those regions, that he should 
subsist mostly or entirely on animal food. — To this I 
reply that, so far as God has constituted and ordained 
things in such a manner as that, animal substances are all 
or nearly all that the frigid zones afford for human aliment, 
and in such a manner as that, the human body is far less 
injuriously affected by the free use of flesh-meat in cold 
regions than in the torrid or even in the temperate zones, 
so far it may with propriety be said that God has made it 
necessary for the inhabitants of the frigid zones to sub- 
sist on animal food. But the notion that the physiological 
powers and functions of the human body, are better 
sustained by flesh-meat than they can be by a well-chosen 
vegetable diet in the wintry regions of the poles, is en- 
tirely false. Could proper vegetable food be had in 
vol. ii. 24 

278 graham's lectures on thte 

abundance in the frigid zones, it would be better aliment 
for man in every respect, than flesh-meat, even in the 
coldest spot where human life can be preserved. That 
is, provided man is accustomed to such a diet in those 
regions from his childhood up, or fully habituated to it 
before he enters those regions. Or in other words, — all 
other things being precisely equal, the man who is fully 
accustomed to a pure vegetable diet, can endure severer 
cold, or bear the same degree of cold much longer than 
the man who is fully accustomed to a flesh diet. 

§ 1125. Were animal heat a mere chemical effect, or 
were it produced in the same manner as we produce a 
sudden, sensible glow throughout the system by drinking 
alcoholic liquor, it might not be easy to perceive how 
the same diet which best enables us to endure the intense 
heat of the torrid zone, should also best enable us to 
endure the intense cold of the frigid zone. But let it be 
remembered that animal heat is purely the effect of vital 
function, (§ 499.) and that the power of the body to reg- 
ulate its temperature according to the surrounding medi- 
um, so as to sustain ihe extremes of heat or cold, is 
always greatest when its physiological properties and 
powers are in their most healthy and vigorous state and 
condition. And this, we have seen, (§ 996.) is most per- 
fectly secured by a pure and well-chosen vegetable diet. 

§1126. Reasoning from false notions derived from 
mere momentary sensation, mankind long clung to the 
opinion that alcoholic liquor would enable them better to 
endure both heat and cold: and although modern experi- 
ments are beginning to set them right concerning alcohol, 
yet they blindly cherish the idea that flesh-meat is better 
for them in cold regions, than vegetable food; without 
pausing to consider that while it actually affords them less 
real and permanent nourishment, (§916.) it stimulates 


them more, and exhausts the vital powers of their organs 
more rapidly, and therefore, in all that it differs in its 
effects from vegetable food, it approaches more nearly 
to the character of alcohol. 

§ 1 127. We know that in some of the coldest portions 
of the Russian Empire, the people subsist on coarse, veg- 
etable food, and are exceedingly hardy and vigorous. I 
have been assured by highly intelligent gentlemen who 
have spent many months in Siberia, that no exiles to that 
wintry region, endure the severities of the climate better 
than those who have been all their lives, accustomed to a 
simple vegetable diet. And it has proved universally true, 
except in cases of far-gone and incurable disease — that, 
all those who have adopted a strict vegetable diet and 
correct general regimen, in this country, within six or 
seven years past, have experienced a decided increase cf 
physiological power to endure severe cold, and have 
found themselves able to preserve the temperature of 
their bodies more uniform and agreeable with less clothing 
by day and by night. 

§ 1128. It is unquestionably true however, as testified 
by those who have attempted to explore the polar regions, 
that when British sailors and others who have been 
accustomed to live mostly on salted animal food, are 
taken into those regions, they are enabled to endure the 
intense cold better by subsisting on the fresh animal food 
of the natives. Nevertheless, it is entirely certain that 
both they and the natives would endure the cold still 
better if they were well trained to "a correct vegetable 


Comparative effects of vegetable and animal food on the sensorial power 
of the nervous system — particularly, on the special senses and the intel- 
lectual and moral faculties — Relations between the nervous and sen- 
sorial powers — Excessive expenditure of one diminishes the other — 
Great intellectual and great animal powers rarely combined — All over- 
working, or over-excitement of the stomach impairs the sensorial 
power — Excessive alimentation diminishes the sensorial power — 
Narcotic stimulants still more detrimental — Flesh-meat impairs the 
sensorial power — Vegetable food most favorable to the sensorial 
power, and the acuteness of all the senses — Objections in regard to 
the lower animals, made and answered — The case of Caspar Ilauser 
— His wonderful power of vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, 
and the discriminating sensibility of his stomach— Effect of flesh-meat 
on his special senses — Other cases adduced — Effect of flesh-meat on 
the intellectual powers — Opinions of ancient philosophers — Stupidity 
and indocility of all flesh-eating tribes — Irish children, and the Irish 
in general— Caspar Hauser — the wonderful activity and power of his 
intellectual faculties— These diminished by flesh-meat — The children 
of the Orphan Asylum of Albany, New York — The Greek children 
f gy ra — The young slaves in the West Indies — The Zulu's of Afri- 
ca — The Hindoos — Great men that live on a mixed diet — Truo 
intellectual power — Difference between mind and soul — Capabilities 
of flesh-eaters — Wild boy of Mississippi— Vegetable diet and insanity 
— Principles explained and illustrated and facts adduced. 

§ 1129. The physiological evidence in relation to 
the natural dietetic character of man, that next demands 
our attention, is that which is afforded hy the comparative 
effects of animal and vegetable food on the sensorial 
power of the nervous system; — and particularly on the 

Graham's lectures, etc. 281 

functional powers of the organs of special sense (§ 396. — 
409.) and those more immediately concerned in the 
intellectual and moral manifestations. (§ 260.) 

§ 1130. We have seen (§ 164.) that, the nervous 
system of the human body, possesses the wonderful 
vital endowments of nervous and sensorial power. The 
nervous power is wholly employed in those important 
vital operations, which are concerned in the growth and 
sustenance of the body, (§ 164.) and which we have 
already contemplated. The sensorial power is employed 
in the functions of animal sensation, perception, reflection, 
volition, voluntary motion, &c. (§ 165.) These two 
properties of the nervous system, though very different 
from each other, are yet so intimately related, that 
they both equally depend on the most healthy and per- 
fect state of the nervous system, for their highest and 
best condition; so that, whatever in any measure dete- 
riorates the nervous -structure, or impairs its vital prop- 
erties, always necessarily diminishes the healthy nervous 
and sensorial power of the system. And it is an inva- 
riable law, that, all excessive exercise, or expenditure of 
the one, always diminishes the functional energy of the 
other: all excessive exercise of the passions and of the 
mind, always necessarily diminish the functional power 
of the stomach and all other organs concerned in the 
growth and sustenance of the body, and which depend 
on the nervous power of the system: and on the other 
hand, every thing that increases the demand for the 
concentration of nervous power in the stomach and 
other organs, for the performance of their functions, and 
increases the exhaustion of that power, in the perform- 
ance of those functions, beyond what is indispensably 
necessary for the healthy operations and results of the 
vital economy, always necessarily diminishes the sensorial 

5282 tjraham's lectures on the 

power of the system and the functional energy and 
integrity of all the organs depending on that power. 
Hence the notorious facts, that they who greatly culti- 
vate the intellectual powers and follow intellectual pur- 
suits — and more especially if those pursuits are of an 
exciting kind, always find it necessary to give much care 
to the preservation of the functional power and integrity 
of the organs concerned in the general office of nutrition: 
and for the most part — though mainly from errors of 
regimen, sueh individuals are delicate in their health and 
feeble in their muscular ability: while on the other hand, 
those who greatly cultivate their bodily powers, and 
maintain a high state of health and possess great muscular 
strength, very rarely if ever, manifest much compass and 
energy and activity of mind. 

§ 1131. With these facts the ancients were perfectly 
well acquainted, though they knew nothing of the physio- 
logical principles, by which they are accounted for. The 
statues and all other representations of Hercules and of 
the ancient athlete, which have come down to us, exhibit 
great muscular development, and indicate small intellec- 
tual powers. 

§ 1132. All over-working, over-excitement, and irri- 
tation of the stomach and other organs concerned in the 
general function of nutrition, necessarily cause an abate- 
ment of the sensorial power of the nervous system. 
And by over-working, I do not mean merely that oppres- 
sion of the stomach and other organs, which is attended 
with immediate distress or uneasiness: but I mean all 
that exceeds the real wants of the vital economy and is 
attended with a greater expenditure of vital power, than is 
indispensably necessary to the healthy and perfect opera- 
tions and results of the economy. — Before the constitu- 
tion has been broken down, while its springs are yet elastic 


and its energies are great, the most vigorous and high- 
toned health of body, may be maintained for a consider- 
able time, at a most prodigal expense of vitality, without 
any of those painful feelings which tell us that we are 
excessively over-working the system, and warn us that 
we are pushing our health to the extremes which approach 
to the very verge of violent disease and sudden death. 

§ 1 133. However pure and well-adapted our food, and 
correct our regimen in other respects therefore, if we 
are habitually excessive in quantity only, we necessarily 
oppress our organs, and diminish the sensorial power of 
the nervous system, and commensurately render our 
intellectual and moral and voluntary faculties sluggish 
inactive and feeble. But when our excesses include 
over-stimulation, and the use of irritating and deleterious 
substances we greatly increase the injuries of the 
system, and the reduction of the sensorial power. 

§ 1134. It is true however, that diffusive stimulation, 
produced by even the most pernicious substances intro- 
duced into the nose or mouth or stomach or other organs — 
if the system is accustomed to them — will, while it lasts, 
by increasing the general excitement of the nervous sys- 
tem, increase the activity of the mental faculties, and 
especially in persons in whom the sensorial power has 
been impaired by previous debauches of the kind, or by 
excesses of any other sort. Yet such stimulations always 
necessarily, in the end, leave the nervous system more 
depressed and impaired, and the sensorial pow T er more 
diminished, than they found them: and therefore, the 
physiological principles which I have laid down on this 
point, are always, and without exception, true. 

§ 1035. Flesh, I have repeatedly stated, (§ 916. et seq.) 
is much more stimulating in proportion to the nourish- 
ment which it affords the system than proper vegetable 

234 graham's lectures on the 

food; and hence, while it passes through the stomach in 
a shorter time, — and therefore has been supposed to be 
more easily digested, (§ 920.) yet it actually causes a 
greater concentration of nervous energy and a greater 
expenditure of vital power in that organ during the pro- 
cess of digestion, and consequently, causes a greater 
abatement of the sensorial power of the nervous system, 
and leaves the assimilating organs more exhausted from 
the performance of their functions, than vegetable ali- 
ment. (§ 921.) And moreover, the nervous structure 
itself, organized from blood formed of flesh-meat, is less 
perfectly adapted to high sensorial power and activity than 
that resulting from pure vegetable aliment. 

Diet with Reference to the Special Senses. 

§ 1136. In every respect therefore, a correct vege- 
table diet is more conducive to a high and healthy state 
of sensorial power in the nervous system of the human 
body, than flesh-meat; and consequently, the functional 
powers of all the organs of special sense, — or of touch, 
taste, smell, hearing, and sight, and of the intellectual and 
moral faculties, are rendered more perfect, vigorous, and 
active, by a correct vegetable diet than by animal food; 
or by a mixed diet of vegetable and animal food. 

§1137. And this is not only evident from physiologi- 
cal principles; but it is fully proved; first, by those who 
had for many years wholly abstained from flesh-meat and 
afterwards commenced the use of it: and second, by 
those who had long been accustomed to the use of flesh- 
meat, and afterwards totally abstained from it. And first: 
let us consider the facts in relation to the special senses. 

§ 1 138. But I anticipate the objection that predaceous 
animals, which subsist entirely on flesh, possess the most 


powerful and discriminating special senses. This asser- 
tion I admit to be partly correct and partly erroneous; 
and still contend nevertheless, that even its truth does not 
militate in the least, against the principle which I have ad- 
vanced. In regard to the special senses, it should be un- 
derstood that there is a nice distinction between simple 
poioer and discrimination. A hound for instance, may 
have the olfactory power of scenting its game much far- 
ther than a sheep can smell its food, while at the same 
time the olfactory sense of the sheep may be much more 
nicely discriminating than that of the hound. The first 
of these properties depends on anatomical arrangement, 
the second is purely physiological, and depends entirely 
on the sensorial power. Hence, in all those predaceous 
animals which have the power of scenting their game or 
food at a considerable distance, the olfactory are 
proportionably larger than jn other animals, and are rami- 
fied over more extensive nasal surfaces: while in those 
herbivorous and other animals which simply require an 
olfactory sense to discriminate the qualities of substances 
near at hand, the olfactory nerves are proportionably 
smaller, and the olfactory apparatus more simple in its 
mechanical construction; and it is worthy of remark that 
in this respect the organization of man decidedly places 
him with vegetable-eating animals. 

§ 1 139. We see therefore, that the fact that predaceous 
animals, with a much more extensive and complicated ol- 
factory apparatus, have -a greater power of smell than her- 
bivorous animals, does not in the least degree go to prove 
that flesh-eating is favorable to the sensorial power of 
the special senses. For it may nevertheless be true that 
the olfactory sense of herbivorous animals, discriminates 
the delicate qualities of things near at hand, and espe- 
cially those which relate to the alimentary and respiratory 

2S6 graham's lectures on the 

wants of their bodies, much more nicely than that of pre- 
daceous animals. And in fact, we know it to be true 
that the sensorial power of the organ of smell, even of 
carnivorous animals themselves, is greatly exalted by ab- 
stinence from flesh-meat. I have the authority of some 
of the most experienced sportsmen in England, for saying 
that — " always in preparing hounds for the chase they are 
carefully trained. — For at least a fortnight before they 
are put upon the chase, all animal food is taken from them, 
and they are kept strictly upon coarse, dry bread with a 
little water; because flesh-eating has a powerful effect to 
deaden the nice sensibility and discriminating power of 
the olfactory nerves, and to make the hounds heavy and 
sluggish. If they are permitted to eat flesh freely till 
they enter upon the chase, the sense of smell is so blunt- 
ed that they will not open on the track, and get the fox 
up. They are not suffered therefore to touch a morsel 
of animal food for two weeks before they are put on the 

§ 1140. If man were to live like beasts of prey, on 
simple, uncooked flesh and water, and breathe only the 
pure air of the forest, the discriminating power of his 
special senses, would undoubtedly be much greater than 
he possesses in civic life, living on a mixed diet, or even 
on vegetable food, with the ten thousand depraving and 
deteriorating influences of the artificial circumstances and 
pernicious habits of society, continually acting upon him, 
and impairing all the physiological properties of his sys- 
tem. But the simple question before us is, — would man, 
either living in all the natural simplicity of the lower animals, 
in the open and pure air of the fields and forests; or cribbed 
up in cities and surrounded by all the artificial circum- 
stances and depraving influences of civic life, possess an 
equal power and discriminating keenness of the special 


senses, whether he lived on animal food, or a mixed diet 
of animal and vegetable food, or on pure vegetable food 
— being in all other respects, in either case, equally tem- 
perate and correct? — To this question, I confidently 
answer no! — and affirm that both physiological science 
and facts clearly and conclusively prove that a pure and 
well-ordered vegetable diet is more conducive to the 
functional power and integrity of the organs of special 
sense than animal food, or than a diet which includes any 
portion of flesh-meat. The physiological principles I 
have already sufficiently explained; (§ 1129 et seq.) and 
we have seen that even in the hound, which is naturally 
a carnivorous animal, the sensorial power of the organ of 
smell is much exalted by an entire abstinence from flesh- 
meat. (§1139.) 

1141. The story of Caspar Hauser is probably known 
to every body.* He was, as we are informed, for some 

* Since the death of this extraordinary youth, it has been attempted, 
even by the noble gentleman who adopted him, to prove that Caspar 
was an impostor, and his whole story a falsehood. But I am bold to 
declare that neither Caspar Hauser nor any other human being could 
fabricate such a story. The intrinsic evidences of its genuineness are 
irrefragable, and such as could not have been forged. There are many 
physiological principles developed in his case which have since been 
repeatedly demonstrated in other cases, but which could not hav" been 
known to him, and which were evidently not understood by the gen- 
tleman who wrote his history, nor by any other one connected with 
him. (§1150.) It is very possible and even probable, that Caspar 
learned to dissimulate and practise falsehood, and that the unbounded 
attention which he received, begat in him an insatiable desire to be the 
object of continued and increased attention. Indeed, he must have 
been something more than human, if he was not thus vitiated by the 
circumstances in which he was placed and the treatment he received 
after he became the object of public attention and excitement. Whether 
he was the child of a nobleman or a peasant, I neither know nor care, 
nor shall I insist that he was actually confined in a dark dungeon just sev- 
enteen years. But that he had long been secluded from the light and 

288 graha.m's lectures on the 

cause or other, confined in a narrow, dark dungeon from 
early childhood till he was about seventeen years old, 
when he was released, and on the 26th of May, 1828, 
was found at one of the gates of the city of Nuremburg, in 
Bavaria, Germany, and was soon taken under the care of 
the city authorities. During the whole time of his confine- 
ment he was kept in a sitting posture with no other clothing 
than a shirt, and made to subsist on coarse, brown bread 
and water exclusively. Considering the position in which 
he was kept during the greatet part of the period of his 
growth, his total want of exercise, the confined air which 
he breathed, and the entire absence of light, his body 
was developed with remarkable symmetry and beauty. — 
When he first came out of his dark dungeon, and for 
considerable time afterwards, the acuteness and power 
of his sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch, far exceed- 
ed any thing of the kind ever before known in a human 

§1142. Being accustomed during his whole confine- 
ment, to what is ordinarily called total darkness, his eyes 
acquired the power of perceiving things by the aid of 
so extremely small a quantity of light, that he was able 
to see distinctly, where ordinary human eyes could see 
nothing. " It has been proved, by experiments carefully 
made," says his learned biographer, — " that in a perfectly 
dark night, he could distinguish different dark colors, such 
as blue and green from each other. He could walk any- 
where as well in the dark as in the light, and was aston- 
ished to see others groping and stumbling along in the 

from the ordinary influences of society, and subsisted on an extremely 
simple vegetable and water diet, and that the statements made by his 
biographer of the physiological and psychological phenomena attending 
his first appearance in Nuremburg and during the change of his habits, 
are true, cannot be doubted by any one who is thoroughly acquainted 
with the science of human physiology. 


dark. When, at the commencement of twilight, a com- 
mon eye could not yet distinguish more than three or four 
stars in the sky, he could already discern the different 
groups of stars, and could distinguish the different single 
stars of which they were composed, from each other, 
according to their magnitude and the peculiarities of their 
colored light." 

§ 1143. But all this will perhaps be said to be wholly 
the effect of his having been long accustomed to darkness, 
and had nothing to do with his diet. — We shall see 
however, in the sequel, that this conclusion is erroneous. 
His being long confined to what we call total darkness, 
certainly caused his eyes to acquire the power of seeing 
by the aid of an exceedingly small quantity of light; and 
also unfitted them to bear full daylight with comfort; — 
and consequently, when he first left his dark prison, the 
full light of day was distressing to him, and rather served 
to dazzle and blind him than to increase the distinctness 
of his vision: — hence, for some time after he was set at 
liberty, he could see more distinctly and much farther 
after sunset, than at noonday. Now if all this had been 
exclusively the effect of his having been so long confined 
in darkness, then as his eyes became more and more 
accustomed to the full light of day, his extraordinary 
power of vision would gradually have diminished, till it 
became nothing more than ordinary. But this was not 
the case. As he became more and more accustomed to 
the full light of day, his distinctness and power of vision 
in the night gradually decreased, and at the same time 
commensurately increased in the day, till he became as 
remarkable for his visual power by day as he had been 
by night, and could distinctly see small objects far beyond 
the reach of ordinary vision: — and " his sight," says his 
learned biographer, " was as sharp in distinguishing ob- 
vol. ii. 25 

290 graham's lectures on the 

jects near, as it was penetrating in discerning them at a 
distance. — In dissecting plants, he noticed subtile distinc- 
tions and delicate particles which had entirely escaped 
the observation of others." 

§1144. Moreover, if long confinement in darkness 
had been the sole, or even the principal cause of the 
astonishing visual powers of Caspar Hauser, it certainly 
could not account for the fact that he was equally remark- 
able for the discriminating acuteness and power of his 
other special senses. 

§1145. "His hearing," says his biographer, "was 
scarcely less acute than his sight. When walking in 
the fields, he once heard, at a distance comparatively 
great, the footsteps of several persons, and he could 
distinguish these persons from each other by their walk." 

§ 1 146. His acute sense of smell was most troublesome 
and painful to him — exposed as he constantly was, to 
those concentrated and offensive odors, that almost every- 
where abound in that artificial state of things peculiar to 
civic life: while it fitted him the more perfectly for that 
pure and uncontaminated state of nature, in which the 
special senses are the true sentinels of organic life; 
(§700.) and with the most perfect discrimination and 
integrity, act determinately for the security of the vital 
interests of the body. By so much the more therefore, 
as he was fitted for such a simple and natural state, he 
was in a condition to be offended and distressed by an 
artificial and unnatural state of things. The odors of the 
rose and other fragrant flowers and shrubs, which, in a 
state of nature, thinly scattered over the earth, and 
breathing their sweetness to the pure and diluting air, 
would have been exquisitely delightful to his keenly dis- 
criminating sense, when greatly concentrated and densely 
freighting the atmosphere from the flower-gardens o 


artificial cultivation, were extremely oppressive and even 
painful to him. (§ 702.) "He was able to scent things 
at a very great distance. He could distinguish apple, 
pear, and plumb trees from each other, at a considerable 
distance by the smell of their leaves. Different coloring 
materials, pencils, &c. imparted a painful odor to his 
keen sense. He smelled tobacco when in the blossom 
in the fields, at the distance of fifty paces; — and at more 
than one hundred paces, when it was hung up in bundles 
to dry, causing him headaches, cold sweat and fever. 
The smell of old cheese, made him feel unwell and 
vomit. The smell of strong vinegar, though full a yard 
from him, operated so powerfully upon his nose and eyes 
as to bring tears into his eyes. When a glass of wine 
was filled at table, at considerable distance from him, he 
complained of its disagreeable smell, and of a sensation 
of heat in his head. The opening of a bottle of cham 
paio-ne, was sure to drive him from the table or to make 
him sick. The odor of flesh, was to him, the most 
horrible of all smells. When walking by a grave-yard, 
the smell of the dead bodies, of which others had not 
the slightest perception, affected him so powerfully as 
almost immediately to bring on an ague and cause him to 
shudder. The ague was soon succeeded by a feverish 
heat, which at length resulted in a violent perspiration, 
by which his linen was thoroughly wet. He afterwards 
said he never experienced so great a heat, and complained, 
on his return to the city gate, that his sight had been 
affected thereby. Similar effects were once after expe- 
rienced by him, when he had been, for a considerable 
time, walking by the side of a tobacco field." 

§ 1147. His sense of taste and sense of touch, were 
equally acute and astonishing. Indeed the power of all 
his senses seemed miraculous. He would instantly 

292 graiiam's lectures on the 

detect the nicest qualities, and the slightest difference in 
qualities of things of taste and of touch: and he could 
not he deceived in these respects, by any devices or 
means. Nothing was more loathsome to his taste, than 
flesh. Even enveloped in bread, it caused great disgust 
and distress, as soon as he took it into his mouth. With 
equal discrimination and power would he detect the 
nicest difference in the tangible properties of things. 

§ 1148. " One of the most difficult undertakings, was 
to accustom him to the use of ordinary food: — and this 
could be accomplished only by slow degrees, — much 
trouble and great caution. — The different preparations of 
farinaceous food, most readily agreed with him and 
became agreeable. At length, he was gradually accus- 
tomed to eat flesh, by mixing at first only a few drops 
of gravy with his gruel, and a Cew threads of the muscular 
fibre of the flesh with his bread, after the juices had been 
boiled out, — and by gradually increasing the quantity." 

§ 1149. But it will be said that it is far from being 
desirable to possess such an exquisite keenness and dis- 
criminating power of the senses: (§703.) for it would 
only serve to unfit one for society — for usefulness, and 
for all the enjoyments of civilized life, and render human 
existence a curse rather than a blessing. So, if I 
were accurately to describe the pain which every sin, 
and the slightest departure from spiritual truth and 
righteousness, would cause a perfectly holy human being, 
were such a one on earth, most of mankind, even in 
Christian lands, would make the same objection to such a 
state of the soul, and on precisely the same grounds:— 
and the analogy between the two cases is perfect. 

§ 1150. But it should be remembered, that whatever 
may be our power to reconcile our special senses to the 
deleterious and the offensive properties of things, we have 


no power to reconcile those properties to the vital interests 
of our bodies: (§ 735.) and therefore, though we may suc- 
ceed in so far depraving the sentinels of life, (§700.) and 
so completely destroying their natural instinctive integrity, 
as even to cause them to delight in the poisonous proper- 
ties of tobacco and other pernicious substances, (§ 707.) 
yet those properties always remain equally unfriendly to 
the physiological interests of our bodies, — always neces- 
sarily retain their antivital character. It would therefore, 
be quite as rational and as wise for a traveller, who, find- 
ing his journey lay continually among pit-falls and pre- 
cipices, and feeling himself constantly alarmed and tor- 
mented by the perception of the dangers that surrounded 
him, should put out his eyes, and in his blindness, con- 
gratulate himself on his deliverance from all his perils 
and annoyances, as it is for human beings to desire to 
escape from the perception of the dangers that surround 
them, in the deleterious properties of things, by an entire 
depravity of their senses of smell and taste. — The truth 
is that, the case of Caspar Hauser affords many of the 
most important physiological facts and demonstrations, 
that have ever been presented to the scientific world: and 
happy will it be for mankind if they will learn wisdom 
from such extraordinary instruction. 

§ 1151. But how, it is inquired, can we arrive at any 
definite and determinate physiological conclusions from 
the evidences of this remarkable case, when we find his 
special senses taking offence indiscriminately, at noxious 
and innoxious substances? 

§ 1152. This is not a true statement of the case; and 
only evinces the very superficial observation and limited 
attention which have been given to the subject. — The real 
fact is, his sense of smell and of taste discriminated with 
exquisite delicacy and infallibility between salutary and 

294 graham's lectures on the 

deleterious substances. It was only when the odors of 
innoxious substances were in great excess, and therefore 
unfriendly to the physiological interests of his body, that 
his olfactory sense was oppressed, and pain induced by 
them: — while the odors of noxious substances, were al- 
ways, in all quantities — even the smallest, — offensive and 
distressing to him; producing all those physiological phe- 
nomena or symptoms, which indicate the instinctive efforts 
of the system to repel or reject morbific causes. (§ 300.) 

§ 1153. The odors of roses and other innoxious flowers 
and shrubs, when properly diluted by the pure atmosphere, 
so as to be compatible with the physiological interests of 
his system, were exquisitely delightful to him; but when 
the air was too deeply freighted with the dense fragrance 
of flower-gardens, &c. his olfactory sense, true to the 
vital welfare of the body, became oppressed by the 
concentrated sweets, rendered pernicious by excess. 
(§702.) The odors of tobacco and of the dead bodies 
of the grave-yard and other pernicious substances, on the 
other hand, even when most slightly perceived, were 
loathsome and distressing to him, (§1146.) and when 
strongly perceived, his system powerfully manifested 
those symptoms which indicate the presence of substances 
directly and irreconcileably hostile to the vital interest 
of the body. And it is a matter of great importance to 
physiologists, to observe the natural, instinctive economy 
of the human body in such a state, by which it first 
indicates the invasion of the vital domain by noxious 
agents, and then, by which it expels those agents from 
that domain. And also to observe the intimate relation, 
and powerful sympathy existing between the different 
special senses. — The loathsome odor of the dead bodies, 
greatly affected his sight. (§ 1146.) 

§1154. And surely, the civilized world should learn 


a deep lesson of wisdom from the physiological facts 
before us, — so far at least, as regards the location of 
grave-yards. For although we, in the depravity of our 
senses, perceive not the baneful odor of the decaying 
dead; yet the facts that Caspar Hauser could perceive it 
so strongly, and experienced such violent effects from it, 
are physiological demonstrations for the whole human 
species; — and show with what propriety the Mosaic 
dispensation guards with most rigorous caution, against 
all contact of the living with dead bodies. 

§ 1155. The same reasoning holds good, in regard to 
the physiological demonstrations of the sense of taste in 
Caspar Hauser, that I have presented concerning his 
smell. All simple farinaceous preparations and proper 
fruits, very readily became agreeable to him; while flesh- 
meat, in whatever way prepared, caused the deepest 
loathing and abhorrence, — both as perceived by the sense 
of smell and of taste: and the physiological perception of 
the stomach, (§ 737.) with equal promptitude and power, 
and with equal delicacy and accuracy of discrimination, de- 
tected in it, those properties which are not adapted to the 
purest condition and highest interests of the body. 

§ 1156. The want of physiological knowledge in those 
who had the care of Caspar Hauser, led them to many 
erroneous practices, and no little confusion of statements, 
concerning him; still however, an accurate physiologist, 
is able to reduce the facts in the case, to their true order; 
and to derive from the extraordinary experiment, the 
most complete physiological demonstrations. As in the 
ase of the olfactory sense, so with that of taste, many 
substances naturally innocent and perhaps in a measure 
salutary, were, by artificial concentration, and other 
insalutary preparations, rendered oppressive and offensive 
to him: (§710.) — and substances which were naturally 

296 graham's lectures on the 

more stimulating than those to which he had been 
accustomed, at first produced somewhat unpleasant effects 
on his organs. But, in regard to the smell and taste of 
flesh, there was a deep instinctive loathing and abhorrence, 
which, as we have seen, (§ 1 148.) could only be overcome 
by the smallest degrees and in the slowest and most 
cautious manner. " When the first morsel of flesh was 
offered to him, scarcely had it touched his lips, before 
he shuddered — the muscles of his face were seized with 
convulsive spasms, and with visible horror he spit it out." 
" Some flesh was subsequently concealed in his bread: — 
he smelt it immediately, and expressed a great aversion 
to it: but was nevertheless prevailed upon to eat it: and 
he felt afterwards extremely ill in consequence of having 
done so."* "Even milk, whether boiled or fresh, 
possessed so much of the animal odor and flavor, and 
was so much more exciting than his bread and water, 
to his stomach and alimentary tube, as to be unpleasant 
to him. Beer, wine, brandy, tobacco, coffee, and all 
other alcoholic and narcotic substances, were most pow- 
erfully offensive to his senses of smell and taste, and 
distressing to his body: producing even more violent 
effects on his system than flesh. 

§ 1157. Now then, in regard to the effects of flesh- 
eating on the special senses, — we learn from the case be- 
fore us, in the first place, that the very extraordinary 
power and acuteness of the special senses of Caspar 
Hauser, were not caused by his long confinement in dark- 
ness and silence, because they remained equally extraor- 
dinary when he had become fully accustomed to the light 
of noonday and the noise of civic life: — neither were 

* The same effects are invariably produced when flesh-meat is first 
given to children which have been accustomed only to a pure vegetable 
diet under a correct general regimen. See § 880. 


they owing principally, to the entire absence, during his 
long confinement, of those properties of external things 
which, acting immediately upon the organs of special 
sense, deprave and impair their peculiar powers. It is 
very certain however, that after his release from his dun- 
geon, and his entrance into the city of Nuremburg, the 
constant action of offensive olfactory and gustatory prop- 
erties, on his organs of smell and taste, had considerable 
effect, to deprave and impair the peculiar powers of those 
organs; yet, notwithstanding all this, the acuteness and 
intensity of the perceptive power of his special senses, 
remained almost supernatural, while he continued to sub- 
sist on his simple diet of bread or plain farinaceous food 
and water: but precisely with equal step, as he became 
gradually more and more accustomed to the use of flesh- 
meat, (§ 1148.) the extraordinary acuteness and power 
of his special senses diminished. 

§ 1158. "After he commenced eating flesh," says his 
biographer, "he had an opportunity of comparing the 
acuteness of his hearing with the still greater acuteness of 
the hearing of a blind man, who could distinguish even 
the most gentle step of a man walking barefoot. On this 
occasion, Caspar observed that his hearing had formerly 
been much more acute; but that its acuteness had been 
considerably diminished since he had begun to eat flesh, 
so that he could no longer distinguish sounds with so great 
a nicety as that blind man." 

§ 1159. But it will be asked; — how came the blind 
man by such an extraordinary acuteness of hearing? — Did 
he too live on bread and water? — There are many nice 
physiological and psychological principles involved in this 
fact, the full explanation of which, would require an ex- 
tensive treatise. Suffice it to say however, that the organs 
of sight and hearing are in a more eminent degree than 

298 graham's lectures on the 

those of the other special senses, the instruments of the 
mind, and are not liable to be depraved like those of smell 
and taste, by the direct action of deteriorating substances, 
(§ 401 .) — that all the special senses are capable of a high 
degree of cultivation, — and that it is wisely and benevo- 
lently so ordered that the destruction of the sight, may 
be, to a very considerable extent, compensated, by an 
extraordinary increase of the power and acuteness of hear- 
ing, by means of careful and long-continued cultivation, 
or attention to the nicest auditory impressions. And thus 
the blind man is enabled to hear his way along the pub- 
lic streets, and to avoid running against surrounding ob- 
jects, with almost as much accuracy as those who see. 

§ 1160. That we may fully understand and appreciate 
the truth in the statement before us, concerning Caspar 
and the blind man, therefore, it is important to observe, 
that whatever may have been the diet of the blind man, 
which was undoubtedly very simple, his auditory power 
to perceive the slightest vibrations of the atmosphere, and 
to discriminate between the nicest differences, in the audi- 
tory qualities of those vibrations, had been cultivated, 
probably, to the very top of his capabilities: while Cas- 
par's extraordinary acuteness and power of hearing were 
in no degree the effect of cultivation, but depended en- 
tirely on the pure, natural sensibilities of his organs: or 
on the very great degree of natural and healthy sensorial 
power of his nervous system: and hence, while the blind 
man exhibited only a highly cultivated power of hearing, 
which is not uncommon with blind men, Caspar mani- 
fested a most extraordinary natural power of all the spe- 
cial senses, and which, at the time of this trial, as he 
himself justly remarked, had already been very consid- 
erably diminished by his eating flesh. 

§ 1161. As he became more and more confirmed and 


free in his habit of flesh-eating, the extraordinary acute- 
ness and energy of his special senses continued to dimin- 
ish, till in a short time, they wholly disappeared and he 
retained nothing but the most ordinary powers. And, 
as if Divine Providence had, by special design, raised 
up this youth for the most specific and important physi- 
ological and psychological purposes, it is remarkable that 
he perseveringly refused to defile himself with wine, beer, 
tea, coffee and all other alcoholic and narcotic substances; 
and rigidly abstained from the use of spices and heating 
substances, and thus in the most signal and unquestiona- 
ble manner, demonstrating that flesh-meat was the prin- 
cipal cause of the very great abatement of the acuteness 
and energy of his special senses. 

§ 1162. The same general facts, as those exhibited in 
the case of Caspar Hauser, though not of so remarkable 
a character, have been observed in numerous other 
instances, where individuals had for many years been 
accustomed only to a plain, simple, and wholsome vege- 
table diet, and afterwards become habituated to the use 
of flesh. 

§1163. On the other hand, it has been a matter of 
very frequent and extensive observation, that those, who 
having been always accustomed to the use of flesh-meat, 
abandon it entirely, and subsist on^a plain and simple vege- 
table diet, experience a very great improvement in their 
special senses. I have seen many such instances within 
the last six or seven years; and some of them, of a very 
marked character. This improvement however, is gen- 
erally perceived much sooner in the smell and taste than 
in the sight and hearing; and in some cases, the sudden 
substitution of a less, for a more stimulating diet, will 
cause a temporary depression of the physiological powers 
and functions of the system, and especially those apper- 

300 graham's lectures on the 

taining to organic life; (§ 893.) and while this depression 
or species of indirect debility, continues, the special 
senses, and particularly sight and hearing are often, to a 
considerable extent, involved in the general effect, and 
their functional powers are commensurately diminished; 
in consequence however, of a relaxation of the anatomical 
mechanism of the organs, rather than an abatement of 
sensorial power: but as soon as the vital properties of 
the body become perfectly adapted to the character of 
the new diet, the general tone of the system is elevated, 
and the functional powers of the special senses greatly 
improved; — provided always, that the vegetable diet is 
of a proper kind and condition, and the individual is not 
intemperate in quantity, nor improper in his regimen and 
habits in any other respect: — for every species of excess 
is necessarily injurious to the special senses, and none 
more so than gluttony and licentiousness. 

§1164. Dr. Lambe, of England, of whom I have 
frequently spoken, (§ 1104.) and who has probably been 
the most extensive and accurate observer on this subject 
of any man in Europe, confidently affirms, that, "not 
only are the special senses improved by the disuse of 
flesh, but this improvement," says he, " pervades every 
organ and influences every function of every part of the 
system. Observation shows," continues he, "that there 
is no organ of the body, which under the use of vegetable 
food, does not receive a healthy increase of its peculiar 
sensibility, — or that power which is imparted to it t by 
the nervous system." 

Diet icith Reference to the Intellectual Powers. 

§1165. I have now, so fully shown that flesh-eating 
diminishes the sensorial power of the nervous system, 


and consequently the functional powers of the organs of 
special sense; and have so extensively explained the 
physiological principles pertaining to the subject (§ 1130. 
et. seq.) that, it is not necessary for me to enter any 
farther into physiological explanations, before I proceed 
to the statement of facts in relation to the comparative 
effects of vegetable and animal food on the intel- 

§ 1166. That flesh-meat is less friendly to intellectual 
vigor and activity than vegetable food, is by no means an 
opinion peculiar to modern times. Theophrastus, who 
studied under Plato and Aristotle, and succeeded the 
latter in the Lyceum, — the number of whose auditors, 
we are informed, became two thousand, and who died 
at the age of a hundred and seven, — two hundred and 
eighty-eight years before Christ, says that, "eating much, 
and feeding upon flesh, makes the mind more dull, and 
drives it to the very extremes of madness." "It was," 
says Dr. Lambe, " proverbial among the ancients that the 
athletse were the most stupid of men; and Diogenes the 
Cynic asserted that it was wholly owing to their excessive 
use of the flesh of swine and oxen." 

§ 1167. The Calmucks, and indeed, all other portions 
of the human family that subsist principally upon flesh, 
are remarkable for their mental stupidity, sluggishness 
and indocility. 

§ 1168. Sir John Sinclair, in his Code of Health, — 
a work replete with research and historical knowledge, 
says that, "vegetable food has a happy influence on the 
powers of the mind, and tends to preserve delicacy of 
feeling and liveliness of imagination, and an acuteness of 
judgment, seldom enjoyed by those who make a free use 
of animal food. The celebrated Franklin ascertained, 
that a vegetable diet — promoting clearness of ideas, and 

vol. ii. 26 

302 Graham's lectures on the 

quickness of perception, is to be preferred by those who 
labor with the mind." — "In proof of the assertion," 
continues Sir John, "that a vegetable diet promotes 
clearness of ideas and quickness of thought, and that a 
transition from vegetable to animal food, produces injuri- 
ous effects, — a friend of mine states that, he has more 
than once selected from his tenants' children in Ireland, a 
boy remarkable for that smartness of intelligence, so 
common in the Irish youth, while in the capacity of 
errand boys on the farm, or helpers in the stables, and 
before they became pampered with better food than 
their parents' cabin afforded. The lads, at first, were 
lively and intelligent, and displayed a degree of shrewd- 
ness, exceeding what is generally met with from the 
youth of a more elevated walk in England. — But he 
invariably found that, in proportion as those boys became 
accustomed to animal food, and (according to common 
notions) were better fed, they relaxed in activity and 
became dull and stupid; (§ 1004.) and he is confident 
that the change in the disposition, was the effect of the 
change of diet, and was not owing to corruption of mind, 
from intercourse with the other servants. In fact, they 
lost all their vivacity of manner, so inherent in the Irish 
boys, whether born in the vast bog of Allen, or in the 
dry and rocky counties of Mayo and Galway. He is 
therefore inclined to think that the character of the 
people, does not depend so much upon climate and soil 
as upon food; for no part of the globe can differ more 
than those parts of that kingdom." 

§ 1169. These facts in relation to the Irish youth, are 
of very great importance and deserve far more attention 
from philosophers and philanthropists, than has ever 
been given to them. The Irish peasantry, wherever 
they are known in the civilized world, are proverbial for 


their peculiar expressions, commonly called Irish bulls^ 
and which are generally considered as attributable to their 
peculiar national stupidity; or natural crookedness of 
mind, if I may so express myself. Whereas, directly 
the opposite of this is true. There is probably no class 
of people on earth, more remarkable for natural quick- 
ness and shrewdness of mind, than the Irish peasantry 
of pure and simple habits: but they are, as a general 
fact, entirely destitute of the advantages of education, and 
therefore, have a very limited and imperfect use and 
knowledge of language. The consequence is that their 
intellectual quickness and activity, with their ignorance of 
the grammatical force and arrangement of words, continu- 
ally leads them to express their ideas in a very peculiar 
— generally shrewd — often ludicrous — but always spirit- 
ed and witty manner. Their very blunders therefore, 
are really, evidences of their remarkable natural quick- 
ness and activity of mind: — and hence, when w r ell edu- 
cated, they are often found among the most eloquent and 
witty men and able writers in the world. 

§ 1170. The case of Caspar Hauser in relation to this 
point, is, of itself alone, a complete and unequivocal 
demonstration of the principle I am contending for. — I 
have already briefly stated many important facts in his 
history, (§ 1141. et seq.) and have spoken of his deep aver- 
sion to flesh, tobacco, wine, beer, brandy, tea, coffee 
and many other things, and of the very great difficulty 
and caution with which he was slowly accustomed to 
animal food. (§1148.) 

§ 1171. While he continued to subsist entirely on his 
simple diet of bread and water, as he had done in his 
dungeon, — "the activity of his mind," says his learned 
biographer, — "his fervent zeal to lay hold of every thing 
that was new to him, — his vivid, — his youthfully power- 

304 graham's lectures on the 

ful and faithfully retentive memory, were such as to aston- 
ish all who witnessed them." " The curiosity — the 
thirst for knowledge, and the inflexible perseverance, 
with which he fixed his attention on any thing which he 
was determined to learn or comprehend, surpassed every 
thing that can be conceived of them." 

§ 1172. About two months after he entered the city 
of Nuremburg, he was taken to the house of Professor 
Daumer, with whom he afterwards resided, and from 
whom he received regular and systematic instruction: 
and where he was also carefully and regularly educated 
to the use of animal food in the manner I have described. 
(§1148.) — "In Professor Daumer's notes respecting 
Caspar," says his biographer, " he has made the follow- 
ing observations. ' After he had learned regularly to eat 
flesh, his mental activity was diminished; — his eyes lost 
their brilliancy and expression; — his vivid propensity to 
constant activity was diminished, and the intense appli- 
cation of his mind gave way to absence and indifference; 
and the quickness of his apprehension was also consider- 
ably diminished.' " 

§1173. "Caspar's present mode of living," says his 
biographer, in the conclusion of his narrative, "is that 
which is common to most men. — With the exception of 
pork, he eats all kinds of flesh-meats that are not season- 
ed with hot spices. His drink continues to be water: 
and, only in the morning, he takes a cup of unspiced 
chocolate instead of it. All fermented liquors, beer and 
wine, as also tea and coffee, are still an abomination to 
him. If a few drops of them were forced upon him, 
they would infallibly make him sick." — " The extraor- 
dinary and almost supernatural elevation of his senses, 
has also been diminished, and almost sunk to the common 
level. He can, indeed, still see in the dark, but not to 


read, nor perceive small objects as he once could. Of 
the gigantic powers of his memory, and of his other as- 
tonishing qualities, not a trace remains! He no longer 
retains any thing that is extraordinary." 

§ 1174. That excesses in quantity of food, and many 
other causes existing in civic life, were to a considerable 
extent, concerned in producing these deteriorations in 
Caspar Hauser, there appears to be no just ground of 
doubt, but it is entirely certain that flesh-meat was the 
principal cause of the remarkable diminution of his sen- 
sorial power, and the abatement of his intellectual activi- 
ty and energy. For these effects are in precise accord- 
ance with the well-ascertained principles of physiological 
science, and strictly correspond with the facts in all sim- 
ilar cases. 

§ 1175. In the Orphan Asylum of Albany, New 
York, from eighty to a hundred and thirty children were, 
in the close of 1833, changed from a diet which included 
flesh or flesh-soup once a day, to a pure vegetable diet 
regulated by physiological principles. Three years after 
this change was made, the principal teacher of the Insti- 
tution thus speaks of it. " The effect of the new regi- 
men on the intellectual powers of the children, has been 
too obvious and too striking to be doubted. There 4ias 
been a great increase in their mental activity and power. 
The quickness and acumen of their perception, the vigor 
of their apprehension, and the power of their retention, 
daily astonish me. Indeed they seem eagerly to grasp, 
with understanding minds, almost any subject that I am 
capable of presenting to them in language adapted to their 

§ 1176. "On my way to Smyrna, in Greece in 1828," 

* See Appendix, Note A. 


306 graiiam's lectures on the 

says Judge Woodruff, (§ 1007.) "I stopped at Syra, 
where I was detained by contrary winds about twenty days. 
I there became acquainted with Dr. Koike, an eminent 
teacher from Switzerland. He had the charge of the 
principal school at Syra, containing from two hundred to 
three hundred pupils. During my stay at Syra, I took 
great pleasure in visiting this school; which I did almost 
every day. I very soon began to feel, and express as- 
tonishment at the remarkable vivacity, sprightliness and 
mental activity and power of these children. Their 
memory was truly surprising. Dr. Korke assured me 
that he had never, in any country, found children equal 
to these for clearness, sprightliness and power of intellect, 
— for aptitude to learn and ability to retain. And, I can 
truly say that these Greek children manifested a capacity 
for learning, which exceeded any thing I had ever before 
or have since witnessed. Dr. Korke attributed this ex- 
traordinary ability in his pupils, mainly to their habits, of 
living, which were extremely simple. Coarse, unbolted 
wheat-meal bread, with figs, raisins, pomegranates, olives 
and other fruit, with water, constituted their diet. Figs 
and other fruit composed a large proportion of their food; 
but I am confident they did not consume an ounce of 
fle'sh a month." 

§ 1177. "I spent the winter of 1836-7 on the Island 
of St. Croix in the "West Indies," says Mr. John Bur- 
dell, of New York, (§720.) "and devoted much of my 
leisure time to instructing the young slaves. The little 
field negro children from five to ten years old, which 
never saw a letter nor had any idea of one till I taught 
Them, on being promised that they should have a Bible 
given to them if they would learn to read, would, in the 
course of one week, learn the alphabet and learn to read 
ba, be, bi, ab, &c. In three or four weeks, they would 


learn to read short sentences, such as "No man may put 
off the law of God:" and in a few months, they would 
learn to read the New Testament. With all these little 
field negroes, which lived on corn-meal, yams, peas, &c. 
there was the utmost avidity as well as aptitude to learn. 
But the little negroes of the same age in the house, living 
on what came from their master's table — animal food, &c. 
are wholly different. — They are totally disinclined to re- 
ceive instruction and are slow to learn, like our well-fed 
white children at the north. It is an irksome task to 
them to apply their minds to study; and they never get 
a lesson unless they are regularly tasked and urged on. 
I saw one of these house children which was twelve years 
old and which had been long under the instruction of the 
master's daughter, and was just beginning to read a little 
in the New Testament." 

§ 1178. The Rev. Alden Grout, who has recently re- 
turned from a three years' mission among the Zulu's on 
the southeast Coast of Africa, says that that people de- 
pend on the products of the soil for subsistence, — living 
mostly on corn and milk. The children go entirely na- 
ked and live in the simplest manner. They are sprightly, 
active and full of vivacity, and their aptitude to learn is 
almost incredible. It is a common thing for them, in 
the course of fifteen months from the first time they ever 
saw a letter, to learn to read w T ell in the New Testament 
and to do sums in the fundamental rules of arithmetic. 
They all discover the greatest eagerness for knowledge; 
and seem to think nothing so desirable. On leaving them 
I asked what I should bring them when I returned. — 
they all cried out at once, "Bring us more teachers! — 
more books!" 

§ 1179. But I shall be told that the Hindoos and oth- 
er Asiatics, who live on vegetable food, are remarkable 

30S graham's lectures on the 

only for their mental imbecility and inactivity: while on 
the other hand, men of the most gifted minds in Europe, 
such as Fox, Pitt and others, have been flesh-eaters. — 
In reply to these objections, I remark that I have al- 
ready, (§ 1031.) fully accounted for the mental indolence 
and stupidity of the Asiatics, so far as these statements 
are true of them. For more than two thousand years, 
at least, and how much longer we know not, their politi- 
cal, civil, religious and social institutions have been such, 
as are calculated in the most direct and powerful man- 
ner, to suppress and prevent all public and private enter- 
prise, and all intellectual activity and energy, and to 
produce a general, intellectual and moral stagnancy. To 
find a relief from this total want of mental and moral 
stimulation, they have, almost as a natural and necessa- 
ry consequence, endeavored to give a current to their 
existence or a tide to the ocean of life, by those sensual 
stimulations and excitements, of which I have spoken, 
(§ 1031.) and the excesses of which, have produced 
all those evils of a physical, mental and moral nature, 
that are too commonly attributed to a vegetable diet. 
Yet with all these deteriorating causes co-operating to 
deprave and destroy them, the Hindoos as a nation, pos- 
sess great natural talents, (§ 1036.) and among their 
learned men and philosophers, who with strict temper- 
ance subsist on pure vegetable food and water, there have 
been many as clear and deep and powerful thinkers, as 
have ever done honor to human nature in any portion of 
the world. Moreover, it is well known that not only 
Pythagoras, who is said to have studied with the Bra- 
mins of India, but all the most eminent philosophers of 
antiquity subsisted on a pure and simple vegetable and 
water diet. 

§ 1180. In regard to Fox, Pitt and other Europeans 


and Americans who have possessed great intellectual 
powers and yet were flesh-eaters, two things are to be 
taken into consideration. First; — in nearly all civilized 
countries where a mixed diet is used, flesh-meat is very 
sparingly eaten in the early part of life, or during that 
period in which the mind is mostly developed and edu- 
cated: and when once the mental powers are disciplined 
and the mind furnished with knowledge, though the sub- 
sequent habits of the individual may be such as to super- 
induce general sluggishness and disinclination to mental 
application and activity and severe and continued employ- 
ment, yet in moments of strong excitement, the mental 
faculties may be roused to great activity, and the individ- 
ual may on such occasions, exhibit astonishing intellectu- 
al powers; while as a general habit, his mind is inactive 
and indolent. Such men are never distinguished for in- 
tellectual industry, and seem not to possess the sponta- 
neous power of mental action, andean only make a great 
effort when excited by great occasions, or by some 
intoxicating substance which is sufficiently stimulating to 
overcome their habitual sluggishness. Or if they occa- 
sionally do deliberately prepare for an extraordinary 
intellectual effort, they invariably restrict their diet and 
become comparatively simple and abstemious, and per- 
haps for a while, subsist wholly on vegetable food. " Mil- 
ton studied in Italy, where the diet is olives, macaroni 
and ice-water, and there laid the plan of his Paradise 
Lost," says Sir Everard Home. — It is admitted that 
men who in this manner, ordinarily subsist on a mixed 
diet of vegetable and animal food can possess great intel- 
lectual powers: but at the same time, it is contended that 
they would have possessed still greater powers if they had 
always subsisted entirely on a pure vegetable and water 
diet. Second; — there are at least two general classes of 

310 graham's lectures on the 

intellect, or kinds of intellectual power. The one is more 
particularly dependent on the general excitement of the 
nervous system; — the other, on the pure sensorial pow- 
er of the brain. — The former is a combination of mind 
and emotion (§586.) — the latter is pure mind. — The 
former belongs to the orator, the poet, the painter 
and others who mainly aim to awaken the imagination, 
the sympathies and passions, and to determine the judg- 
ment by the force of feeling, (§ G08.) — the latter belongs 
to the mathematician, the intellectual and moral philoso- 
pher, &c. 

§1181. It is true therefore, that a man who, like Pitt, 
eats flesh and drinks wine, may, on particular occasions, 
when under a strong excitement, pour forth a torrent of 
impassioned and powerful eloquence, or produce a 
splendid piece of poetry, or music, or painting, — exciting 
the sympathies and admiration and astonishment, of all 
who witness his performance. But let us remember that 
it is a thousand times easier to make our hearers feel 
with us, than to make them think with us; and hence, a 
thousand will appreciate the powers of the impassioned 
orator, where one will appreciate those of the profound 
thinker: — and consequently, mankind always over-rate 
the impassioned order of intellectual power. 

§ 1182. We should remember also, that the extraor- 
dinary intellectual power of Pitt and Fox and others of 
that class, who were free livers, was only occasional; — 
(§ 1180.) they could not put it forth at will, under all 
circumstances and in any situation; but always depend- 
ed on some strongly exciting cause to bring the nervous 
system into the requisite state of stimulation: and then, 
like one in a fever, they were able vividly to recollect 
those impressions which had been stored away at other 
times, when their habits were better adapted to mental 


development and cultivation, — and also, distinctly to pro- 
duce those conceptions of the mind, (§570.) which 
constitute the ideal presence of things contemplated; and 
by these means, they were enabled to exhibit the highest 
degree of intellectual power of which they were capable: 
and which, after all, is little more than an extraordinary 
mental paroxysm. 

§1183. But the mighty minds, which with untiring 
industry are continually employed, and which with a giant 
grasp, lay hold of the deep foundations of things, and 
move the intellectual and moral universe, are of another 
class. With penetrating and profound and unremitting 
thought, they explore the heavens and the earth, and 
scrutinize the forms and properties and laws of things; 
and with keen analysis and induction, and elaborate rea- 
soning, and rigorous demonstration, sort out the truth and 
arrange it into the physical and intellectual and moral 
sciences of the human world. Such minds are not sus 
tained nor excited by flesh and wine. 

§ 1184. The mightiest intellectual performance of Sir 
Isaac Newton, and one of the mightiest of the human 
mind in any period, or portion of the world, was made 
while his body was nourished only by bread and water: 
— and if Bacon and Locke and Boyle and Euler and 
La Place and a host of other intellectual giants, did not, 
during their severest mental labors, subsist exclusively 
on bread and water, it is certain that they were temper- 
ate even to abstemiousness, and that their diet was ex- 
ceedingly simple, and in many, if not in most instances, 
exclusively vegetable. 

§ 1185. Before I dismiss this topic of investigation how- 
ever, it is important that I should remark on the distinc- 
tion between the intellectual faculties and the mind itself. 
- — The human soul, I have said, (§ 529.) is an immaterial 

312 graham's lectures on the 

substance and constitutes the substratum of the intellectual 
and moral powers or faculties. The soul and the intel- 
lectual and moral faculties therefore, are innate, constitu- 
tional principles; but the mind and moral character are 
wholly the results of the exercise of the innate faculties. 
Whatever may be the intellectual faculties of the soul, 
(§ 530.) if they are never exercised, there will be no 
mind, — if they are little exercised there will be little 
mind. Now, I do not pretend that a pure vegetable diet 
will actually produce mind, but that it is most favorable 
to the development of those organs on which the intellec- 
tual manifestations more particularly depend, and most 
conducive to the healthy and vigorous susceptibility and 
activity of the intellectual faculties, and, therefore, is 
most favorable to mental action and power. Thus Caspar 
Hauser (§ 1141.) at the age of seventeen years, had little 
more mind than a child of twelve months old, — but as 
we have seen, (§ 1171.) he possessed the most astonish- 
ing susceptibility and activity and energy of the intellec- 
tual faculties, which, had they been preserved, would have 
enabled him to make very great intellectual attainments 
with ease and delight. A Patagonian youth has also intel- 
lectual faculties which it is possible to cultivate to a very 
considerable degree of mental elevation and power, but he 
has none of that remarkable susceptibility and activity and 
energy of the intellectual faculties, possessed by Caspar 
Hauser, before he began to eat flesh; (§1171.) and 
therefore, it would be incomparably more difficult and 
laborious for the young Patagonian to make high intel- 
lectual attainments, than it would for a youth subsisting 
wholly on a simple vegetable diet: — and, all other things 
being equal, it would not be possible for the young flesh- 
eater, by any labor, to equal the vegetable-eater in the 
extent of his acquirements. 


§ 11S6. In the year 1808, a wild boy was found in a 
swamp in Mississippi, not far from the present site of 
Pinckneyville. He was first discovered walking naked, 
on the shore of a lake, hunting frogs, which he dexterously 
caught and voraciously devoured raw. He was appa- 
rently about nine years old, perfectly wild and truculent 
and without any intelligible language. After he had 
learned to make himself understood by those who were 
accustomed to him, he told them that he had a dim 
remembrance of coming down the Mississippi with his 
father's family, in a flat-boat, — that his father killed his 
mother, — and that he fled in terror into the swamps, 
expecting that his father would kill him also: — and that 
from that time, he had subsisted on frogs, animals and 
berries; living in warm weather, among the cane, and in 
cold weather, in a hollow tree. After this boy was 
domesticated, he continued to prefer raw flesh to any 
other kind of food, and soon discovered a fondness for 
intoxicating liquor, and greatly preferred to go entirely 
without clothes. He was utterly averse to any kind of 
employment; and his principal amusement was riding on 
horseback, of which he was passionately fond. When 
playing with lads of his age, the moment his anger was 
excited, his first movement was to strike them with any 
weapon or instrument he could most readily get hold of. 
— In short, he proved to be very quarrelsome, — soon 
became addicted to drunkenness and other vices, and 
was found to be totally indocile and intractable. A 
gentleman who saw him in 1825 — seventeen years after 
he was caught, says, " At that time his mind appeared 
wholly incapable of cultivation. To an entire stranger, 
his language was unintelligible, consisting of a kind of 
gibberish, understood, with ease, only by those intimately 
acquainted with it. He was still an untameable creature, 
vol. ii. 27 

314 graham's lectures on the 

often found around small ponds catching frogs and eating 
them raw. It was with great difficulty he could be 
compelled to wear any kind of clothing or come under 
any restraint." 

§1187. This case has been brought forward by the 
advocates for flesh-eating, to prove that man has a natural 
appetite for animal food and for strong drink; and it is 
said by them, to be decidedly more of a true case of 
nature than that of Caspar Hauser. But it is very obvious 
that neither case can justly be considered as making any 
very near approximation to the truly natural state of man. 
It is not claimed that Caspar's dietetic habits were the 
result of natural instinct, and that they prove the natural 
dietetic character of man: but it is contended that the 
comparative effects of vegetable and animal food on his 
physiological and psychological powers, afford the strong- 
est evidence in relation to the natural dietetic character 
of man; and that evidence is fully corroborated by the 
evidence in the case of the wild boy of Mississippi. 
From this boy's account of himself, he must have been at 
least four or five years old when he fled in terror from 
his father: and, all things considered, it is scarcely to be 
doubted that his father was an intemperate man and was 
intoxicated when he killed his wife. It may therefore, be 
regarded as a certainty, that the boy had become 
accustomed to the free use of flesh-meat, and very 
probably also, to the use of strong drink, while in his 
father's family: and it is well known that when these 
appetites are formed in early life, they are generally 
powerful and abiding: and nothing but strong moral 
self-control can ever overcome them. The dietetic 
habits of this boy therefore, afford no determinate evi- 
dence in relation to the natural dietetic character of man: 
but the psychological evidence in the case, when com- 


pared with that of Caspar Hauser and all other relevant 
cases, is strong and conclusive: for with his flesh-eating, 
we find that he had no aptitude to learn — no docility — 
that " his mind appeared wholly incapable of cultivation;" 
— that after seventeen years' intercourse with civilized 
human beings, his language was a kind of gibberish, 
unintelligible, except to those who were intimately ac- 
quainted with it; and that he continued to be intractable 
and truculent. 

Diet icith Reference to Insanity. 

§ 1188. It has been reserved for the sagacity of modern 
philosphers to discover that abstinence from animal food 
leads to insanity. A physician of considerable profes- 
sional standing, in an article which appeared in the Bos- 
ton Medical and Surgical Journal, February 24th, 183G, 
made a most violent and abusive attack upon me, for 
propagating the doctrines contained in these Lectures; 
and asserted that the tendency of the principles which 
I teach, is to break down the physiological and psycholo- 
gical powers of the human body, — induce insanity and 
destroy life: — and these bold and imprudent assertions, 
he endeavored to support by some four or five cases of 
insanity, which he brought forward with extreme disingen- 
uousness and stated with evident dishonesty. I called on 
him for further information, and assured him of my readi- 
ness to renounce any principles which I had advanced, if 
I could be convinced of their error; but he utterly refused 
either to give me the names of the persons whose cases 
he had adduced, or to afford me the means of investi- 
gating those cases, or of coming to any other knowledge 
of them than I could derive from the hostile statements 
which he had made in the Medical and Surgical Journal. 

316 graham's lectures on the 

Fortunately for the cause of truth and humanity how- 
ever, the individuals themselves, or the near relatives of 
the individuals whose cases he had named, proved to 
possess more moral sensibility and regard for justice, 
than my adversary manifested, and they spontaneously 
communicated to me correct statements of those cases. 
The result was that, every case stated by my assailant, 
proved to be an entire misrepresentation, so far as it had 
any relation to an exclusive vegetable diet: and so far 
as facts could be accurately ascertained, instead of mili- 
tating against the principles contained in these lectures, 
they decidedly harmonized with them. 

§ 11S9. But since the charge has been made, and 
since popular ignorance and popular prejudice have 
eagerly embraced and extensively propagated the opinion 
that an entire restriction to vegetable food leads to insanity, 
it may be well briefly to inquire how far a change from 
a mixed diet of vegetable and animal food, with tea, 
coffee, &c, to a diet of pure vegetable food and water, 
can possibly be a predisposing cause of insanity. 

§ 1190. It is beyond all controversy true, that every 
human being who abandons an ordinary diet of vegetable 
and animal food, with tea, coffee, spices, &c, to which 
he has been accustomed, and takes at once, to a 
simple diet of pure vegetable food and water, in tem- 
perate quantities, will experience a considerable in- 
crease of healthy sensorial power and mental activity, 
(§ 1136.) and at the same time, he will suffer a physi- 
ological depression (§ 893.) or atony, commensurate 
with the degree of excess to which he has formerly carried 
the use of flesh, tea, coffee, &c. and this physiological 
depression will be more or less distressing, and continue a 
longer or shorter time, according to the peculiar-condition, 


circumstances and habits of the individual.* People of 
vigorous bodies, who are accustomed to active and 
energetic exercise in the open air, will recover from it 
in a short time; while those who are of sedentary and 
studious habits, given much to anxiety and confinement, 
— and yet more, those who are of feeble health and 
impaired constitution, will far more slowly recover. 
But, while this physiological depression remains, that 
portion of our organization which is more immediately 
concerned in the operations of the mind, partakes of the 
general debility of the whole body: so that, while the 
sensorial power and mental activity are increased, the 
organic power of the intellectual organs to sustain 
severe and protracted mental action and excitement, is 
somewhat diminished, — or at least, not proportionably 
increased. — Hence students, who from motives of ambi- 
tion, and other causes, are sometimes induced to make 
a sudden change in their diet, and take to an abstemious 
vegetable and water diet, for the sake of being enabled 
to dispense with exercise, and to make the greatest pro- 
ficiency in their studies, in a. given time, always expe- 
rience a great increase of sensorial power and mental 
activity; but if they apply their minds with extreme 
severity, and especially, if at the same time, they neg- 
lect all bodily exercise, they will soon find, to use their 
own language — "that their minds are becoming weak." 
Yet if such students, on changing their diet from more to 
less stimulating food, &c. would refrain from severe 

*By physiological depression or atony, I mean that state of the body 
resulting from the abstraction of accustomed stimulus, in which the 
organs are consequently depressed below their usual tone, and fall short 
of their usual energy and action, causing a sense of debility and lassi- 
tude, and sometimes, of great oppression, — and in some instances — as 
when spirituous liquor is withheld from the habitual drunkard — a dis- 
tressing sense of sinking and extreme exhaustion. 


318 graham's lectures on the 

mental application, till they had recovered from their 
physiological depression, and then continue to govern 
themselves by a correct general regimen, they would ex- 
perience nothing of what they call weakness of the mind, 
— and which in reality, is weakness of the bodily organs 
concerned in the mental operations, — but would enjoy a 
degree of mental vigor and power of endurance which 
it is impossible for man to attain to in any other way. 

§1191. Again, — most of the laboringand business 
people in our country — as everywhere else — exercise 
their intellectual faculties and develop their intellectual 
powers little beyond what they find immediately neces- 
sary for their success in their particular pursuits of life. 
A vast amount of intellectual and moral capability lies 
wholly undeveloped through their earthly existence; and 
their intellectual and moral energies are, to a very great 
extent, kept in a state of sluggish inactivity and stupidity, 
by their dietetic habits and sensual excesses. — Let the 
habits of these people be suddenly changed, and bring 
them at once, to a simple diet of pure vegetable food and 
water, and they will, — if strictly temperate in all things, 
soon experience such an increase of sensorial power and 
mental activity, as greatly to astonish them. They will 
find themselves possessed of faculties and powers which 
they before, were scarcely conscious of. — There will 
also be an increase of cheerfulness, vivacity and buoy- 
ancy of spirits: — and it cannot be surprising that they 
should be much delighted with this new state of things.* 

*An intelligent farmer of Pennsylvania, whose health had for some 
time been declining, and who, at the age of sixty years, finding himself 
completely broken down, and laid by with all the infirmities of a prema- 
ture old age, was induced to adopt a simple diet of vegetable food and wa- 
ter, with the hope of mitigating in some degree, the severity of his suffer- 
ings. Of the effects of this experiment he thus expresses himself. " In 
less than twelve months from the time 1 commenced living on my abste- 


But this change of diet and increase of sensorial power 
and mental activity, cannot immediately impart knowledge 
and discipline to the mind; (§ 1185.) and therefore, it 
cannot be expected that these people are to be trans- 
formed at once, into philosophers and men of science: — 
but their increase of mental activity may only serve to 
expose more glaringly their want of mental education and 
discipline, as in the case of the uneducated Irish. (§ 1169.) 
§ 1192. Now then, while individuals are in this state 
of physiological depression, with an increase of sensorial 
power and mental activity, if some new cause should 
supervene, such as the loss of friends — of property — of 
reputation, — religious anxiety, — projects of ambition, — 
speculations in land and other property, &c. &c. — pro- 
ducing and keeping up intense and continual mental 
excitement, and causing a neglect of most or all of those 
principles of general regimen which are quite as impor- 
tant as the quality of the food, insanity might, and per- 
haps would, in some cases result; — especially where there 
was a predisposition to that disease. And this would 

mious vegetable and water diet, I was perfectly restored to health, and 
seemed to have renewed my life. I was entirely free from every pain 
and ailment and was very active and vigorous ; and more serenely and 
truly cheerful and happy, than ever before since my childhood. My sight 
improved astonishingly, insomuch that, whereas before my change of 
diet, I could with difficulty see to read with the best glasses I could 
procure, — now I could easily read the finest print of my newspaper 
without glasses. But the most wonderful effect was produced on my 
mind; which become far more clear and active and vigorous than it had 
ever been before. Indeed, no one who has not experienced the same, 
can have any adequate conception of the real intellectual luxury which 
I enjoyed. It seemed as if my soul was perfectly free from all the 
clogging embarrassments and influences of the body. I could command 
and apply my thoughts at pleasure, and was able to study and investigate 
the most abtruse subjects; and to write with an ease and perspicacity 
and satisfaction which I had never before known nor had any idea of." 

320 graham's lectures on the 

be far more likely to be the case in those persons whose 
intellectual faculties were not much cultivated, and had 
been little accustomed to intellectual effort and excite- 

§1193. While I admit however, that under these 
peculiar circumstances, the pure vegetable-eater is more 
likely to be rendered insane by supervening causes, — 
which have no necessary relation to his diet — than when 
he is in the most vigorous state of his physiological pow- 
ers, yet I must, in solemn honesty, and upon the most 
fully ascertained principles of science, deny that, it is 
ever, in any degree, the legitimate tendency of a pure 
vegetable diet, of itself, to produce insanity; or that, 
as a general statement, mankind are more likely to become 
insane by changing, in a proper manner, from a mixed 
diet of vegetable and animal food, with tea, coffee, &c, 
to one of pure vegetable food and water; — while on the 
other hand, it is a well-ascertained matter of science and 
of fact, that, in civic life at least, the free use of flesh-meat, 
in itself tends to produce insanity. 

§ 1194. More than two thousand years ago, it was 
taught in the schools of philosophy in Greece, as a well- 
established fact of experience, and became a generally 
received doctrine, that "eating much and feeding upon 
flesh, makes the mind more dull and drives it to the very 
extremes of madness." (§1166.) And from that time 
to the present day, the whole history of civilized man, 
has corroborated the statement. — In the rude state of 
the flesh-eating tribes, where almost every other cause 
of mental insanity is absent, such a calamitous result is 
rarely experienced: but in civic life, where almost every 
thing conspires to reduce the physiological powers of the 
human constitution, — where continual excitements of 
body and of mind, — where perplexities, and vexations, 


and disappointments, and misfortunes are ever occurring, 
and all are co-operating to induce and establish an exces- 
sive nervous irritability, attended always, with more or 
less of disturbance and derangement of organic function; 
and predisposing to bodily disease and mental insanity 
and madness, it is certain — entirely certain that flesh- 
meat as a general fact, increases all these evils, more 
or less in proportion to the freedom with which it is 
used, (§ 1085.) and greatly aggravates the symptoms of 
both bodily and mental diseases. 

§1195. The success which has attended the other- 
wise improved regimen, — and perhaps still more, the 
much improved moral treatment of some of our Lunatic 
Asylums, has, there is reason to believe, greatly blinded 
the eyes of the public and of the conductors of those 
institutions, to the real effects of the flesh and opium 
which are so freely used in them. And while prejudice 
and empiricism are allowed, by the suffrages of general 
ignorance, to occupy the high places which belong only 
to scientific wisdom and skill, we shall probably be 
obliged to see the theory and practice of professional men, 
conform to their own sensual appetites and habits, and the 
unfortunate sufferers who fall under their care, must en- 
dure the consequences. 

§ 1196. " Dr. Halloran, having been physician to the 
Lunatic Asylum of Cork from the year 1798," says Dr. 
Lambe, (§ 1104.) " states that there are certain festival 
seasons of the year when the Asylum is supplied with 
flesh-meat. The consequence on these occasions, has 
been uniformly the same. The strictest precautions 
were necessary to guard against a scene of uproar which 
w^as sure to follow. The same was the case when the 
establishment was new and flesh-meat furnished once a 

232 Graham's lectures on the 

§ 1197. This statement of Dr. Halloran's is in perfect 
accordance with what we know to be true in physiologico- 
psychological science, (§559. et seq.) and what all ex- 
periment made upon correct physiological principles, will 
demonstrate to be true. The human system so readily 
adapts itself to all sorts of things and habits, that under 
almost any mode of treatment which is uniformly and 
regularly pursued, some, of many cases of recent insan- 
ity, will be restored to health in spite of whatever partic- 
ular bad principles and practices may constitute a part 
of the general regimen adopted: and hence, when the 
general regimen is in all other respects excellent, as in 
the institutions to which I have alluded, (§ 1195.) there 
may be many recoveries in spite of the free use of flesh 
and opium. But it is nevertheless true that in every 
case, there is less certainty of recovery, and in all cases 
of recovery under such a mode of treatment, there is a 
greater liability to a return of the same calamity, than 
there would be if the mode of treatment were in all 
respects in strict accordance with correct physiological 

§ 1 198. Where there is an hereditary predisposition to 
insanity, I know of no precautionary measure more sure 
to prevent the development of that most terrible of all 
earthly calamities, than the intelligent adoption of a 
simple diet of pure and well-chosen vegetable food and 
pure water, together with a correct general regimen: — 
for it is nearly in vain to limit ourselves to any particular 
kind of diet while in many other respects, our habits are 
greatly at variance with the constitutional laws of our 

§ 1199. Mr. J. C, a highly respectable and intelligent 
gentleman of Massachusetts, called on me in Boston in 
January 1836, and stated to me that insanity had been 


an hereditary affliction in the family to which he belonged, 
— that he found himself seriously threatened with it, and 
had begun to experience many distressing symptoms, — 
that he attended my lectures in the summer of 1832 and 
strictly adopted the system of living which I recommend- 
ed, — that soon after this, he found his health improving in 
every respect, — his mental disorder in a short time wholly 
disappeared, and he had ever since enjoyed the most 
perfect health of body and mind, with a decided and 
very considerable increase of vigor and activity of both. 
— I might add a large number of cases similar to this 
which have come to my knowledge within a few years 
past. But it is unnecessary. It is already sufficiently 
evident' that a pure vegetable and water diet, under a 
correct general regimen, is most conducive to that state 
of perfect soundness of body, on which perfect sound- 
ness of mind depends. (§ 589.) 


Comparative effects of animal and vegetable food on the animal propen- 
sities and moral sentiments — Relation of the animal propensities and 
moral sentiments — The doctrine of phrenology — Particular and gen- 
eral relations between the cerebral, and other organs in the body and 
the wants of the vital economy — Effects of physiological depravity on 
the propensities and passions — How far the intellectual and moral 
organs are involved — Means by which the size, activity and vigor of 
particular cerebral organs are increased — The effects of cultivation 
or exercise — The effects of diet — The physiological economy, by 
which the mental, moral and other peculiarities of the parent, are 
transmitted to the offspring — Comparative effects of vegetable and 
animal food in developing particular cerebral organs, — and in exciting 
the animal propensities and passions — Doctrine of phrenology con- 
cerning the relative proportions of the brain — This doctrine applied to 
facts — The shape of the' head of the Hindoos and other vegetable-eat- 
ing portions of the human family, and their natural character — The same 
principles applied to flesh-eating tribes — Effects of dietetic intemper- 
ance on the moral character — particular cases given — Comparative 
effects of flesh-meat and pure stimulants, on the moral organization 
and character of man — The testimony of the Sacred Scriptures — 
The characteristic immoralities of flesh-eaters and of vegetable-eaters 
— Brief synopsis of the moral organs and their philosophy— Conclu- 
sion of the topic — General conclusion from the anatomical and physi- 
ological evidence in relation to the natural dietetic character of man. 

§ 1200. Our next, and last department of physiologi- 
cal evidence in relation to the natural dietetic character 
of man, embraces the comparative effects of vegetable 
and animal food in developing and strengthening the ani- 


mal propensities and passions, and in modifying the moral 

§ 1201. But here we shall be told that all the propen- 
sities, as well as the moral sentiments and intellectual 
powers are immediately connected with organs which 
have their seat within the cranium, (§ 533. 534.) and, 
together, as a complete system, make up the whole en- 
cephalic mass, or the whole brain and little brain; and 
therefore, if it is true that flesh-eating diminishes the sen- 
sorial power of the nervous system, and consequently 
diminishes the functional power of the organs of special 
sense, and the healthy activity and energy and integrity 
of the intellectual and moral faculties, it is not easy to 
perceive why it must not necessarily be true, according 
to the same physiological principles and reasonings, that 
flesh-eating will also diminish the propensities and pas- 
sions. — I will endeavor to explain this point in such a 
manner as to remove the apparent difficulty. 

§ 1202. Granting all that phrenology claims in regard 
to the cerebral organs, (§ 543.) it must nevertheless, be 
remembered that there are very important distinctions 
between the constitutional relations and functional pow- 
ers of these different organs; — some of them holding 
special relations to particular corresponding organs in 
other parts of the body, — others holding general relations 
to the physiological wants of the system, and others hold- 
ing general relations to the social and moral circumstances 
and conditions of man. — Thus, suppose that, according 
to the conjectures of phrenologists, there is situated some- 
where in the brain, an organ of alimentiveness; (§ 544.) 
this has a particular corresponding organ in the abdomi- 
nal cavity, which is the stomach: — this latter organ, ac- 
cording to its constitutional laws of relation, takes on a 
certain physiological condition, (§ 599.) demonstrative 

vol. ii. 28 

326 graham's lectures on the 

of a particular want of the system: — this physiological 
condition of the stomach is perceived by the cerebral or- 
gan of alimentiveness as the special centre of animal per- 
ception of that special sense, and being thus perceived by 
this animal centre or cerebral organ, it is what we call 
hunger, or desire for food, — and this, appealing to other 
organs of the brain, calls into action those whose func- 
tions are necessary in order to the gratification of the 

§ 1203. Now then, according to the philosophy of 
phrenology, the grand, fundamental element in the func- 
tional character of the organ of destructiveness, is the 
supply of this alimentary want, (§ 544. No. 3.) and con- 
sequently, this organ sympathizes with — or partakes of 
the excitement of that of alimentiveness, and is thereby 
roused to the performance of its function; which is to 
urge on the animal to destroy that which is necessary to 
gratify the propensity of hunger, and thus supply the gen- 
eral alimentary want of the system: and hence, beasts of 
prey are always more ferocious and cruel when hungry 
than when they have fully gratified their appetite for food: 
— and all other animals, including man, are more irritable 
and apt to become angry when hungry than when the 
stomach is full. — It is not however, by any means neces- 
sary to call in the aid of phrenology to account for any 
of these facts. But I admit the premises for the sake of 

meeting the objection on the ground where it is set up. 

And from the statement I have made, we perceive that 
the organ of destructiveness, has a general relation to the 
physiological wants of the system; (§ 1202.) and that so 
long as it retains its primitive functional character and in- 
tegrity, it always and only acts consistently with the gen- 
eral physiological interests of the system. All this is 


true of the organs of combativeness, acquisitiveness and 
all the other propensities. (§ 544.) 

§ 1204. But the stomach may be so affected as 
entirely to destroy the integrity of that physiological 
condition which demonstrates the alimentary wants of 
the system, (§ 767.) so that, the sense of hunger may 
become a mere demand for accustomed stimulation, and 
in no degree, indicate the true alimentary wants of the 
body, (§ 737. 738.) And this morbid appetite is al- 
ways the more despotic and imperious, in proportion 
as it is removed from the original integrity of the func- 
tion. (§ 608.) Moreover, this condition of the stom- 
ach always involves the whole nervous system; (§ 298.) 
and increases the irritability of all those cerebral or- 
gans whose functions, according to phrenology, consti- 
tute the propensities common to man and lower animals. 
(§ 544.) The consequence is that, destructiveness, com- 
bativeness, secretiveness, acquisitiveness, amativeness, 
alimentiveness, and other organs holding special, or gen- 
eral relations to the physiological wants and conditions of 
the body, lose their original integrity in reference to those 
wants; and act in relation to the depraved physiological 
condition and affections of the system; and by such action 
necessarily increase, not only their irritability, but their 
tendency to excess and violence; — and thus, the organs 
which were originally instituted and endowed for the good 
of individual and social man, are by depravity made to 
urge him on to restless dissatisfaction, and contention, 
and deceit and lying, and cheating and theft, and quarrel- 
ling and cruelty, and murder and war. For, it is an im- 
portant fact that these crimes are far less frequently com- 
mitted from any real, extrinsic exciting motive, than from 
the internal condition of the nervous system; and hence, 
a large proportion of the murders and manslaughters and 

328 graham's lectures on the 

thefts and other crimes committed in our country, are 
connected with the use of intoxicating liquors. 

§ 1205. The organs of the intellectual and moral pow- 
ers, are so far involved in the condition of the other 
cerebral organs, as to partake in common with them, of 
the general state of the nervous system, and their pecu- 
liar functional powers, as we have seen, (§ 1130.) are 
always proportionally impaired by whatever diminishes 
the healthy sensorial power of that system : — but the per- 
ceptive and reflective faculties, and the moral sentiments, 
such as benevolence, veneration, conscientiousness, &c. 
do not hold those important, special and general relations 
to nutrition and other functions within the domain of 
vegetative or organic life, (§ 283.) which render them 
particular cerebral centres of perception to the special 
or general physiological wants of the vital economy, in 
like manner with alimentiveness, destructiveness, combat- 
iveness, &c. Hence, though the causes which increase 
the determinate functional action and the irritability of 
these latter organs, involve the former, in the general 
increased, and perhaps morbid irritability of the whole 
nervous system, (§ 305.) yet they never directly tend to 
produce their determinate functional action: as in the 
case of the organs of the propensities. — Thus, physiologi- 
cal dissatisfaction in the domain of organic life, always 
leads to more or less of disquietude and restlessness and 
impatience and testiness and anger and contentiousness 
and perhaps violence and crime: and it excites the intel- 
lectual faculties, (§ 547. 548.) so far as its own gratifi- 
cation requires their action, and this, always and exclu- 
sively, to secure such gratification, and never to oppose 
it in any measure: — (§605.) and it perhaps excites cau- 
tiousness, but only to produce unhealthy and generally, 
vague and indefinite apprehension and fear: — and it ex- 



cites the other organs of sentiment; and renders them, 
during the excitement, more morbidly, susceptible of the 
action of other causes; but it never of itself, tends deter- 
minately, to produce the function of benevolence, ven- 
eration, &c, but always the contrary. 

§ 1206. It is true that, when a long-continued over- 
excitement of a moral or religious nature, has induced 
a preternatural or morbid irritability and mobility in the 
organs of veneration, marvellousness, hope, conscien- 
tiousness, cautiousness, &c, a general stimulation of the 
nervous system, through the medium of the domain of 
organic life, will always increase the action of those or- 
gans in relation to the particular moral or religious sub- 
ject which they have become accustomed to contemplate; 
— but such increased action will only continue while the 
direct stimulation continues, and be followed by a com- 
mensurate degree of exhaustion, depression, debility and 
increase of morbid irritability, tending to derangement of 
function, and inflammation and change of structure in the 
organs; — hence, it always necessarily tends directly and 
indirectly to induce or aggravate monomania, or general 
insanity. (559. et seq.) It is true also, to use the lan- 
guage of phrenology, that when the organs of benevo- 
lence, adhesiveness and others of this class of character, 
are exceedingly large and very greatly predominate, the 
stimulation of alcoholic, narcotic and other pernicious 
substances, if kept within certain bounds, will, for a 
while, produce an increased manifestation of kind, and 
perhaps excessively generous and foolishly fond feeling: 
but the ultimate and more permanent effects of such stim- 
ulations, always tend to produce that general morbid 
irritability of the nervous system, which sooner or later 
transforms the unfortunate individual into a demon of 
anger and cruelty and violence. It is not therefore, so 

330 graham's lectures on the 

much the momentary effects of direct stimulation on the 
cerebral organs, as the permanent and constitutional 
effects, which it concerns us to investigate on the pres- 
ent occasion. 

§ 1207 According to phrenology, the particular organs 
of the brain, may not only be rendered morbidly irritable, 
in the manner I have described, but by certain means, 
their healthy energy and activity may be very considerably 
increased; — and by certain means also, the organs them- 
selves may be very much enlarged, so that, a single 
organ may be made to have a very modifying and even 
predominating influence in the character of the individual. 
It is notoriously true also, that the peculiarities of 
character in the parent are very often manifested in the 
child; and this too, under circumstances which entirely 
exclude the possibility of their being derived by 
imitation. Phrenology affirms that in such cases, the 
child inherits a cerebral organization corresponding with 
that of the parent whom it resembles in character. 

§1208. Two problems then, present themselves for 
solution. — The first is, — by what means does the indi- 
vidual increase the size and activity and vigor of particular 
cerebral organs in himself? — and the second is, by what 
means are the peculiarities of cerebral organization in the 
parent transmitted to the child? 

§1209. In regard to the first problem, phrenology 
affirms that all exercise of the cerebral organs which does 
not become so excessive as to induce morbid condition, 
increases the activity, vigor and size of the organ or 
organs exercised. Thu?if benevolence be much exercised 
the organ will become proportionably more active, 
vigorous and large; and so of each and all the other 
organs of the brain, — and in this manner the individual 
may greatly increase the size, activity and vigor of a 


single organ or of several organs, and wholly neglect the 
cultivation of the other cerebral organs, and thereby 
exceedingly modify, and give a permanent shape to his 
character; — making himself a sly, cunning, crafty knave, 
or an avaricious miser, or a thief, or liar, or a quarrelsome, 
turbulent fellow, or a morose and cruel wretch, or a 
blood-thirsty murderer; — or making himself a devoted 
philanthropist or a profound philosopher, &c. 

§1210. Admitting phrenology to be true, such exercise 
of the cerebral organs, certainly does increase their 
activity and vigor, and unquestionably also, it increases 
to a certain extent, their size or volume; — but I think 
phrenologists have erred in making this the too exclusive 
means of development; and in depending too entirely on 
mental and moral discipline and education, to bring 
forward or retard the growth, and increase or diminish 
the relative activity and vigor of particular organs. It 
has been the boast of phrenology that it could afford the 
only rational explanation of monomania; (§558.) and 
that it had done much for the cause of humanity, in 
pointing out the only true and philosophical mode of 
treating that disease and other species of insanity; — but 
after all that has been said about topical applications to 
diseased organs, phrenologists and all others, will soon 
find, — if indeed they have not already found, that the 
grand point to which the physician must direct his atten- 
tion in the treatment of every species of chronic insanity, 
is the alimentary canal. (§598. Note.) — And this is 
true to an almost equal extent, in regard to the propor- 
tionate development and power and activity of the several 
organs of the brain. 

§1211. Be it remembered however, — I do not discard 
intellectual and moral discipline and education, as means 
by which these effects are to be produced: — on the 

332 graham's lectures on the 

contrary, I insist upon them as of the utmost importance; 
— but I contend that they should go hand in hand with 
the strict fulfilment of the laws of constitution and relation 
appertaining to the digestive organs and to the domain of 
organic life generally. — I contend that it is nearly if not 
entirely in vain to attempt, by moral discipline and 
education, to develop benevolence or suppress destruc- 
tiveness while all the dietetic habits of the individual are 
operating directly against us. It is like attempting, when 
a building is on fire, to quench the flames by throwing 
upon them a quantity of water with one hand, and a 
quantity of oil with the other. 

§ 1212. All pure stimulants, or those substances 
which stimulate without nourishing, (§ 743.) increase the 
general irritability of the nervous system; — and all alco- 
holic, narcotic and other deleterious stimulants, always 
produce more or less of morbid irritability in the system, 
according to the extent to which they are used. — The 
action caused by such means, never healthfully increases 
the size of any organ or organs thus excited. But as we 
have seen, (§ 1205.) it always increases the influence of 
certain cerebral organs over the others, — always tends to 
cause a predominance of the more exclusively selfish 
propensities over the intellectual and moral faculties. 

§1213, There are some kinds of aliment by which 
the body maybe nourished and sustained, and which, from 
their adaptation to the organization and physiological 
properties, powers and laws of the system, naturally tend 
to such a symmetrical and harmonious development of 
the several portions of the brain as well as of every other 
part of the body, as the highest and best condition of man 
as an individual and as a social, intellectual and moral 
being requires; — and there are other kinds of aliment by 
which also, the body can be nourished and sustained, but 


which, being less perfectly adapted to the general physi- 
ological interests of the system, always naturally tend to 
develop some parts more rapidly and fully than others, 
and thus, to impair the symmetry and harmony of the 
system. And from what has already been said, it must 
be perfectly obvious to every physiologist, that, whatever 
aliment increases the appropriation of nervous energy to 
the organs concerned in the general function of nutrition 
and in the perpetuation of the species, beyond what is 
indispensably necessary to the most perfect performance 
of the functions and the most complete fulfilment of the 
finalca uses of those organs, always necessarily increases 
the power of those physiological conditions of the organs 
which, being perceived by the animal centre or centres, 
constitute the more exclusively selfish animal propensities ; 
and consequently, if phrenology be true, the cerebral 
organs with which these propensities are connected, will 
be proportionably increased in size, vigor and activity. 

§1214. For, be it known and remembered, as a mat- 
ter of the utmost importance in physiological and psycho- 
logical science, that, admitting phrenology to be true in 
regard to the organization of the brain, the cerebral organs 
have nothing to do in modifying the peculiar physiologi- 
cal powers and functional character of corresponding 
organs in the domain of organc life, (§1202.) in the 
original development of the system: — but directly the 
contrary, is true: (§217. et seq.) — that is, the peculiar 
physiological character of particular organs in the domain 
of organic life, involving the whole condition and economy 
of that domain, causes a proportionate development, vigor 
and activity in the corresponding cerebral organs: — and 
those cerebral organs of animal instinct or propensity, 
which have no particular corresponding organs in the 
domain of organic life, but hold a more general relation 

334 graham's lectures on the 

to the wants and conditions of that domain, are also pro- 
portionally developed by the general physiological con- 
dition and economy of that domain. 

§ 1215. Dietetic as well as intellectual and moral 
causes are therefore, largely concerned in regulating the 
general proportions of the brain, and in increasing the 
relative size, vigor and activity of particular organs. 

§ 1216. But when, by any means, an individual has 
produced a large development and a high degree of vigor 
and activity of certain cerebral organs, by what means 
does he transmit his own cerebral peculiarities to his off- 

§ 1217. I do not know that phrenology has attempted 
a solution of this problem, but I am sure that on its own 
peculiar grounds, it can afford none that is satisfactory. 
The brain of the parent can have no direct influence on 
the development of the brain of the child. — All that the 
parent can impart of his own substance or properties to 
the offspring, must, even in himself, pass through those 
vital processes over which the nerves of organic life 
exclusively preside; and so far as it acts in controlling 
or modifying that vital economy by which the body of 
the offspring is developed, previously to its own voluntary 
agency, it acts exclusively in and through the nerves 
of organic life (§228.) belonging to the body of the 
child, and in no degree in and through the brain or any 
of the nerves of animal life. For, as I have fully shown, 
(§234.) the nerves of organic life exclusively preside 
over all the functions concerned in the development of 
the body; — the nerves of animal life being entirely pas- 
sive, at least until respiration and alimentation commence; 
(§233.) and then only active in certain organs of exter- 
nal relation, as mere instruments by which certain foreign 
substances are brought within the sphere of the vital 


action of the organic domain, &c. Indeed, as we have 
seen, (§215.) the brain and spinal marrow are in no 
degree essential to the perfect development of the body 
in every other part: — and hence, in the normal state, the 
brain is among the very last portions of the whole sys- 
tem, which become so completely organized and con- 
firmed, as to be capable of performing their appropri- 
ate functions. (§214.) 

§ 1218. All the peculiar cerebral effects produced 
in the original development of the body, therefore, must 
result exclusively from causes acting in and through 
the nerves of organic life; and these causes originate 
mostly, from the intellectual, moral, dietetic and other 
voluntary habits and actions of the parent. But whether 
arising from one or all of these, they necessarily, in all 
cases, affect the offspring by first affecting the physio- 
logical condition and economy of the domain of organic 
life in the parent himself, and through this medium, are 
transmitted to the nerves of organic life in the offspring, 
where they act to modify the development of the several 
organs belonging to organic life, and impart to them a 
physiological condition and character corresponding with 
the state of things in the parent: — and then they proceed 
to produce a cerebral development corresponding with 
the physiological condition and character of the domain 
of organic life in the offspring. (§ 1214.) Hence, the 
parent may, by his dietetic and other voluntary habits 
and action so affect his own nerves of organic life, as to 
produce a strong constitutional predisposition in his 
offspring to pulmonary consumption and other diseases, — 
or to insanity, without actually inducing those diseases 
in his own body, — or suffering that affliction in his own 
mind. Or he may, by such means, produce a large 
development of destructiveness, combativeness, secre- 

336 graham's lectures on the 

tiveness, acquisitiveness, amativeness, and other organs of 
this class, even though these organs are of moderate 
size in his own head. 

§ 1219. It is therefore, perfecly evident, as I have 
asserted, (§ 306.) that all hereditary predispositions and 
peculiarities are transmitted from parent to child — from 
generation to generation, exclusively through the medium 
of the nerves of organic life : — and through this constitu- 
tional medium, God visits the iniquities of the parents 
upon the children unto the third and fourth generation; 
and remembers mercy to the children of those that love 
him and keep his commandments, equally long. 

§ 1220. With these explanations before us, we are 
prepared to enter more particularly upon our inquiry 
concerning the comparative effects of vegetable and 
animal food in developing and strengthening the animal 
propensities and passions, and in modifying the moral 

§ 1221. We have seen (§ 976.) that a pure vegetable 
diet is more conducive to the symmetrical and harmo- 
nious development of each and every part of the human 
body, than animal food. — We have seen also (§ 919.) 
that flesh-meat is decidedly more stimulating and heating 
than proper vegetable food, and that it quickens the 
pulse, increases the heat of the skin, accelerates all the 
vital functions, hastens all the vital processes of assimila- 
tion and organization, and renders them less complete and 
perfect: (§924.) and consequently, develops the body 
more rapidly and less symmetrically, — exhausts the vital 
properties of the organs considerably faster and wears 
out life sooner. Furthermore, we have seen, (§ 921.) 
that flesh-meat causes a much greater concentration of 
nervous energy in the several organs through which it 
passes in all the successive processes of assimilation, 


than proper vegetable food, (§919.) and consequently 
leaves those organs more exhausted from the perform- 
ance of their functions, and causes a greater abatement 
of the sensorial power of the nerves of animal life; and 
if phrenology be true, it causes a greater concentration 
of that power in those cerebral organs which are consti- 
tutionally and functionally most nearly related to the 
viscera of organic life. (§ 1202.) 

§ 1222. It follows therefore of necessity, that, flesh- 
meat increases the power of those physiological condi- 
tions and affections of the viscera of organic life, which, 
being perceived by the animal centre or centres in the 
brain, constitute the animal instincts or propensities; 
(§ 605.) and also, increases the action and relative force 
and size of those parts of the brain which, according to phre- 
nology, are the organs of those propensities. (§ 1213.) 

§ 1223. The controlling power of that instinct which 
we call hunger, on the intellectual and moral faculties, is 
much greater and more imperious in the flesh-eater, than 
in those who subsist on a pure vegetable diet. (§ G08.) 
If the flesh-eater is deprived of his customary meals or 
supplies of food, he feels a degree of gastric depression 
which is often painful, and is always attended with more 
or less of restless dissatisfaction, (§921.) which, to speak 
phrenologically, appeals to the organs of destructiveness 
and combativeness, and others of that class, and tends to 
excite them to vigorous action, in order to relieve the 
instinctive disquietude and distress: and hence, men, in 
this state, often burst into fits of anger with their wives, 
or children, or domestics, and sometimes commit acts 
of violence, without the slightest provocation from those 
toward whom their wrath is manifested. But the pure 
vegetable-eater, though he experiences, according to his 
habits, as to times of eating, a regular recurrence of his 

vol. ir. 29 

338 Graham's lectures on the 

appetite for food, yet it has nothing of that despotic, 
vehement and impatient character, which marks the crav- 
ing desire of the flesh-eater; and he can lose a meal 
with very little dissatisfaction; and can even fast for days 
with comparatively little distress or disquietude. And all 
this difference is true between the flesh-eater and the 
vegetable-eater, in relation to all the more exclusively 
selfish propensities in man. (§ 921.) 

§ 1224. It is one of the most important doctrines of 
phrenology, that the greater the proportionate width of 
the head between and back of the ears, — and -depth from 
the ears to the back of the cranium, — or in other words, 
the more the portions of the encephalic mass lying in the 
lower and back part of the skull, exceed those lying in the 
upper and fore part, — the more the animal propensities will 
predominate, and the more active and powerful will be the 
selfish and evil passions: — and, as I have stated, (§ 1203.) 
one of the principal final causes, assigned by phrenolo- 
gists, for the organ of destructiveness, which increases 
the width of the head between the ears, — is the alimen- 
tary wants of the body, requiring the destruction of life 
in other animals for their supply. And hence Call and 
Spurzheim infer the carnivorous character of man from 
his cerebral organization. And yet Spurzheim admits 
that the organ of destructiveness is, in general, relatively 
largest in infancy, when flesh-meat is not wanted, and 
when it would not be proper. 

§ 1225. But admitting the doctrine of the width and 
occipital depth of the head as connected with the more 
exclusively selfish propensities and mischievous passions, 
— ihere is one general fact in relation to the subject, of 
great interest, and- worthy of much consideration. The 
Hindoos and other Asiatic tribes who, from their earli- 
est history, have subsisted wholly on vegetable food, as 


a general fact — and especially those portions of them who ' 
have preserved most of their primitive simplicity, purity 
and temperance, are proportionably much narrower be- 
tween the ears, than those portions of the human race, 
who have, for many generations, fed freely on flesh. — 
The question therefore is, whether the Hindoos have, 
from time immemorial, abstained from the use of flesh- 
meat, and adopted a system of religion which forbids the 
use of it, because they were originally, and always have 
been proportionably narrow between the ears, or wheth- 
er this shape of their heads, is the effect of their absti- 
nence from flesh through so many generations? 

§ 1226. I imagine that no one will hesitate to say 
that, if either of these propositions is true, it is unques- 
tionably the latter. That is, — the proportional narrow- 
ness of the head, as a national fact, is the effect of their 
subsisting purely on vegetable food: — and if this be ad- 
mitted, the fact, according to the theory of phrenology, 
is very conclusive on the score of morality: — and fully 
proves that no physiologist ought, for a moment, to doubt 
that flesh-eating tends decidedly to increase the devel- 
opment of the more exclusively selfish propensities in 
man, and to promote the action and power of the evil 

§ 1227. As a general fact, it is true of all those tribes, 
in* savage life, which subsist principally upon flesh, that 
much the greater proportion of the brain lies in the low- 
er and back part of the skull. This may be said to be 
owing to the want of education to develop the intellectu- 
al and moral organs, lying in the front and upper part oi 
the head: — but I reply, that as a general fact, it is true 
of all those tribes in savage or uncivilized life, subsisting 
mostly or entirely on vegetable food, that the brain is 
much more symmetrically developed and a far greater 

340 graham's lectures on the 

proportion lies in the upper and fore part of the skull, 
than in the heads of the flesh-eating savages. 

§ 1228. Admitting however, that regular moral and 
intellectual cultivation from generation to generation, 
will increase the relative proportion of the upper and 
front part of the brain, in flesh-eaters, yet the fact that 
without such intellectual and moral means of cerebral 
development, the lower and back parts of the brain natu- 
rally and greatly predominate, proves conclusively that 
these parts in point of function and development, hold 
nearer and more special relations to the primary w T ants of 
man as a mere animal: and consequently that, whatever 
tends as a permanent fact, to increase the concentration 
of the healthy vital energies in those parts which are con- 
cerned in the development, sustenance, and perpetuation 
of the material organization, always necessarily tends 
also, to increase the relative proportion of the lower and 
back part of the brain. And the fact that, in those tribes 
destitute of intellectual and moral cultivation, or in the 
uncivilized state, which subsist principally or entirely on 
pure vegetable food, the brain is more symmetrically de- 
veloped, and the upper and front parts are much larger 
in proportion to the lower and back parts than in the 
uncivilized flesh-eaters, proves conclusively that flesh- 
meat increases the relative size and power of those cere- 
bral parts which according to phrenology are the organs 
of the more exclusively selfish propensities, and tends to 
cause the animal, to predominate over the intellectual and 
moral man (§617.) — while a pure vegetable diet, with- 
out neglecting to secure, by the most complete and har- 
monious organization and perfect physiological endow- 
ments, all the interests of organic life and animal instinct, 
at the same time, naturally tends to produce that sym- 
metry of particular and general development and har- 


mony of parts, which give comeliness and beauty to the 
person (§ 974.) and" fit man as an intellectual and moral 
being, to understand and appreciate and fulfil his duties 
to himself and his relations to his fellow creatures and 
to his God. (§ 613.) Hence, the notorious fact, that in 
the perfectly rude and uncultivated state of man, the 
vegetable-eating tribes and nations never sink so low on 
the scale of humanity, — never approach so near to an ut- 
ter extinction of the intellectual and moral faculties, — 
never become so deeply degraded and thoroughly trucu- 
lent as the flesh-eating tribes. However rude the state 
of the uncivilized vegetable-eater, he always, other things 
being equal, manifests more intelligence, more moral ele- 
vation, more natural grace and urbanity than the flesh- 
eating savage. This fact has been observed by travellers 
and writers from the days of Homer to the present time. 
§ 1229. That those portions of the brain which, ac- 
cording to phrenology, are the organs of the propensities, 
hold a more immediate and particular relation to the phys- 
iological condition of the nerves of organic life, than the 
intellectual and moral organs do, may be strongly illustra- 
ted by particular cases. F. R., of M., was an affection- 
ate husband, a kind father, a peaceable neighbor, and a 
worthy member of society. Following the universal 
custom of the times, of sipping intoxicating liquor on all 
occasions, with every one he met, he gradually became 
more and more addicted to the use of ardent spirit, till 
he fell into occasional excesses. These excesses were 
soon marked by a great change of character; and finally, 
by a fearful exhibition of the destructive propensity. On 
one occasion, while under the influence of intoxicating 
liquor, he entered his house and finding his wife nursing her 
infant, he deliberately fastened the doors and windows 
and then got a butcher's knife and whet-stone and sat 

342 graham's lectures on the 

down and began to whet his knife, and at the same time 
told his wife that she had but a few minutes to live, for 
it was his determination to kill her and her child. She 
calmly asked him if he would permit her to lay her child 
on the bed before he executed his design. He assented, 
and she stepped into the bed-toom, laid her child down, 
and sprang upon the bed and threw up a window behind 
it, which was not fastened, and escaped to the neighbors. 
Ever after this, measures were taken to protect his family 
from his outrages when he came home under the influence 
of ardent spirit. But on all such occasions for more than 
twenty years, he invariably discovered the strongest pro- 
pensity to murder his wife and children. Yet at all oth- 
er times he was perfectly kind and affectionate to his 
family, and peaceable towards every body, and a good 
member of society: and after the Temperance Reform 
induced him wholly to abstain from the use of intoxica- 
ting liquors, his cruel and murderous propensity entirely 
disappeared, and his character and behavior were uni- 
formly good. 

§ 1230. The pirate Gibbs, who according to his own 
confessions, was one of the bloodiest murderers of mod- 
ern times, had a head which would lead every intelligent 
beholder to take him for an extraordinary man. The 
first thing that struck the eye of the phrenologist was his 
towering benevolence, and then his large veneration, and 
still larger conscientiousness and firmness and cautious- 
ness, and large philoprogenitiveness and adhesiveness; 
and his capacious and well-marked forehead indicating a 
high order of intellect and a splendid imagination, and all 
this associated with a finely formed and harmonious and 
interesting countenance. But on further examination, the 
phrenologist could also discover very large destructive- 
ness and combativeness and amativeness and acquisi- 


34 : 

tiveness.* Now then, how shall we reconcile the actual 
character of the man as a pirate and extensive murderer, 
with this cerebral development? — I reply that phrenology, 
or more properly speaking — craniology cannot do it sat- 
isfactorily. There were very large destructiveness and 
combativeness and acquisitiveness, it is true, but there 
was certainly sufficient intellectual and moral development 
to control these propensities, and out of the whole cere- 
bral organization, to produce a highly exalted, efficient 
and most estimable intellectual and moral character, if 
due attention had been paid not only to intellectual and 
moral discipline and education, but to the true relations 
between the cerebral organs and functions, and the phys- 
iological conditions and affections of the domain of or- 
ganic life. (§ 1202.) So long as the dietetic habits of 
Gibbs were correct, (even in the ordinary sense of the 
term,) he had no disposition to murder nor to be cruel 
nor quarrelsome; but when he had developed a high state 
of irritability in his nervous system by the habitual use 
of stimulating and intoxicating substances; and, when in 
this condition he brought his whole system under the 
powerful stimulation of ardent spirit, then, as he himself 
declared, he felt the demon of his destiny urging him on 

* False casts of the head of Gibbs, modified to correspond phreno- 
logically with his character as a pirate and a murderer, have been 
extensively circulated; but the analysis which I have given in the text 
is strictly according to Gibbs' own living head, and according to the 
true cast of his head taken by Coffee under the gallows immediately 
after he was cut down. This analysis shows that Gibbs was not a pirate 
and a murderer from a natural necessity arising from his cerebral organ- 
ization, but from a moral necessity arising from his voluntary depravity; 
— for destructiveness was not proportionably larger in the head of Gibbs 
than in the head of Spurzheim. And this view of the subject, besides 
being the true one, fully exonerates phrenology from the charge of 
fatality, which has ever heen considered its most odious feature. ( § 639. ) 

344 graham's lectures on the 

to wickedness and violence. (§ 1204.) Yet when this 
stimulation has passed away and the irritation of his ner- 
vous system is permitted to subside, we find reflection and 
conscientiousness and veneration and benevolence, all 
busily and powerfully at work to redeem him from his vices 
and his crimes; filling his soul with deep contrition and ten- 
derness, and kindness, and feelings of affectionate dutiful- 
ness, all prompting him to the best resolutions for the 
future; — but then would return upon him the temptations 
and the appetite to drink intoxicating liquors, and with their 
stimulation the demon of his ruin possessed his soul again, 
and immediately his conscientiousness and veneration and 
benevolence and all his better feelings were hushed and 
destructiveness and combativeness and other selfish and 
cruel propensities and lusts ruled his whole nature. 

§ 1231. Now I ask, why it was that his moral sentiments 
were not equally excited with his more exclusively selfish 
propensities, by the stimulation of the ardent spirit; and 
why they did not maintain that relative degree of influence 
on the conduct and character of the individual at such 
times, which they exerted when the nervous system was 
free from the stimulation and irritation of the spirit? 
For, we see that, according to Gibbs' own confession, 
when he was under the influence of ardent spirit, com- 
bativeness and destructiveness were the ruling elements 
of his character; — but when he was wholly free from the 
influence and effects of intoxicating substances, those 
elements no longer exerted their controlling sway within 
him, but gave place to conscientiousness and benevolence 
and other elements of this kind. Surely, if all the cere- 
bral organs held the same relation to the physiological 
conditions and affections of the domain of organic life, 
all of them must be equally excited to action by the 
general stimulation of the nervous system: — and in such 


a case, if the stimulation of alcohol considerably increased 
the functional energy and action of the organ of destruc- 
tiveness, combativeness, &c, it would increase in exact 
proportion, the functional energy and action of the organ 
of benevolence, conscientiousness, &c. So that, so far 
as the cerebral organs were affected through the medium 
of the domain of organic life, the relative influence of the 
several organs would be preserved in all states of the 
system; — all being equally increased in energy and action 
by general stimulation, and all suffering an equal abate- 
ment of that energy and action, as the stimulation sub- 
sided; — and thus, Gibbs and every other man, so far as the 
causes which we are now considering are concerned, 
would always have the same relative degree or force of 
propensity to contention, and cruelty and destruction, 
&c, and the same relative force of benevolence and 
veneration, and conscientiousness, &c, whether the 
nervous system was under the powerful stimulation of 
alcohol, or only under the bland and healthful stimulation 
of appropriate aliment. And the various intellectual and 
moral causes in life, alone, could excite particular cerebral 
organs and arouse one or more to a high degree of func- 
tional energy and action, while others remained inactive and 
quiet. But the cases which I have presented, and thou- 
sands of other similar facts continually met with in the 
history of man, as well as every true principle of human 
physiology conclusively demonstrate the error of such a 
notion: and clearly and incontrovertibly prove that, if 
phrenology be true in regard to the organization of the 
brain, the organs of destructiveness, combativeness, 
acquisitiveness, &c. hold nearer and more special func- 
tional relations either to particular organs or apparatuses 
in the domain of organic life, and through them to the 
general economy of that domain, — or immediately to the 

346 graham's lectures on the 

general economy itself, than the intellectual and moral 
organs do. 

§ 1232. And hence it may be predicated as a general 
law, that whatever increases the stimulation of the domain 
of organic life beyond what is essential to the most healthy 
and complete performance of the functions of that domain, 
always increases the direct influence of that domain on 
the cerebral organs. (§ 605.) And again, it may be 
predicated as a general law, that, whatever increases the 
direct influence of the domain of organic life on the 
cerebral organs, proportionably increases the influence of 
the propensities over the intellectual and moral faculties: 
(§608.) — rendering it more difficult for the understand- 
ing to weigh correctly the evidence which is presented 
to it, and to arrive al conclusions of truth: — and more 
difficult for the mora] faculties to preserve their functional 
integrity. (§630.) 

§1233. But I have clearly shown (§925. 926.) 
that pure vegetable aliment is sufficiently stimulating to 
excite the system to the most healthful and complete 
performance of all its functions; and that flesh-meat is 
decidedly more stimulating and heating than proper vege- 
table food (§ 916.) and increases, in man, the force or 
power of those physiological conditions in the domain of 
organic life, which being perceived by the cerebral centre 
or centres, constitute the animal instincts or propensities; 
(§ 1213.) and consequently increases the influence of 
those propensities over the intellectual and moral facul- 
ties. (§608.) 

§ 1234. There is however, an important distinction to 
be observed between flesh-meat and pure stimulants, 
(§ 743.) whether of a deleterious character or not. — 
Flesh-meat, like pure stimulants, but in a much less 
degree, increases the general stimulation of the nervous 


system, and the exhaustion of the vital properties and 
organized substances of the body; — but here, all resem- 
blance between them ends. The pure stimulants almost 
without exception, produce direct irritation as well as 
stimulation, and the ultimate exhaustion which they cause, 
always results in increased irritability: and all the poi- 
sonous stimulants such as the alcoholic, narcotic, &c. 
produce a still greater degree of direct irritation, and 
directly impair the vital properties of the organs, and 
cause a far greater degree of irritability. The pure 
stimulants therefore, not only stimulate the nervous system 
while their direct influence continues, but they also — and 
particularly the deleterious, — produce a permanent irriti- 
bility of the system, which is often of a highly morbid 
character, rendering the system extremely irritable under 
the action of other causes, physical, intellectual and 
moral; but as they only serve to exhaust the vital prop- 
erties and waste the organized substances of the body, 
without affording any nourishment in return, they do not 
increase the size of any part of the system but rather 
tend to diminish the whole. Flesh-meat, on the other 
hand, in a healthy system that is accustomed to it, nour- 
ishes as well as stimulates, and therefore, replenishes the 
exhaustion and repairs the waste which its stimulation 
and the consequent action occasion, and without pro- 
ducing that pretenatural irritability which results from 
alcoholic, narcotic and other pure stimulants of that gen- 
eral class. And, by affording a high order of stimulating 
nourishment to the system, it not only increases the 
power of those physiological conditions and affections in 
the domain of organic life which being perceived by the 
cerebral centre or centres, constitute the animal instincts 
or propensities of a more exclusively selfish character, 
(§ 1213.) — but it also naturally, if not necessarily, in- 

348 graham's lectures on the 

creases the relative size of those cerebral organs which 
hold the most immediate and special functional relations 
to particular organs in the domain of organic life or to 
the general wants and economy of that domain. (§ 1202.) 
§ 1235. But size alone, does not necessarily give an 
organ a proportionate influence in the cerebral system. 
An individual for instance, may have a very large organ 
of benevolence and moderate destructiveness and com- 
bativeness, yet all the habits and circumstances of that 
individual, may co-operate to keep his combativeness and 
destructiveness in constant exercise, and to prevent the 
action of his benevolence. Another individual may have 
large combativeness and destructiveness and moderate 
benevolence, yet all his dietetic and other habits and 
circumstances may be such as exert a quieting influence 
on his organs of combativeness and destructiveness, and ' 
a constantly exciting influence on his benevolence. In 
each of these cases the actual moral character of the 
individual will differ from the phrenological character of 
the head, and this is frequently the case. I have often 
found much better heads, phrenologically speaking, on 
convicts in prison, than I have found on some excellent 
members of society. 

§ 1236. From all the considerations which I have 
presented on this subject therefore, I am constrained to 
regard that system of fortune-telling which depends on 
the proportions and prominences of the head, as extremely 
uncertain, and of very questionable utility, even at best; 
and as capable of being made exceedingly injurious in its 
effects on society. Phrenology — admitting all that it 
contends for concerning the anatomy of the brain, can 
only become a true and complete science by embracing 
the whole human system with all its physiological proper- 


ties and powers, conditions and relations, and then it will 
become Intellectual and Moral Physiology. 

§ 1237. In regard to the comparative effects of pure 
stimulants and flesh-meat then, the latter tends to increase 
the relative size of the lower and back parts of the brain, 
or of the cerebral organs of the animal propensities; but 
without necessarily making men quarrelsome and cruel 
and destructive. If their dietetic and other habits are in 
other respects simple and correct, and their general 
circumstances favorable to a pacific and kind temper, 
they may seldom or never outrage the laws of society in 
its simplest and rudest forms. The pure stimulants, and 
especially the alcoholic and narcotic, &c, on the other 
hand, without increasing the size of the organs, always 
greatly increase the action and depraved energy of the 
more exclusively selfish propensities, and tend to make 
men quarrelsome, cruel and destructive; (§ 1212.) and 
when freely used by those in whom the organs of these 
propensities are relatively large, they are sure to transform 
them to incarnate demons of wickedness and violence. 
(§ 1230.) — In the uncivilized state therefore, flesh-eaters 
who, like the Patagonians, (§981.) are rarely able to 
indulge in alcoholic and narcotic substances, and who, in 
other respects, have little to produce a preternatural or 
morbid irritability of the nervous system, may live together 
in small tribes, with comparatively little exhibition of the 
fiercer and more cruel and wicked and violent passions: 
— but flesh-eating savages who indulge freely in tobacco 
and ardent spirit, and other like stimulants, are always 
extremely fierce and cruel and blood-thirsty — delighting 
in violence and murder. While on the other hand, those 
uncivilized tribes and nations, which subsist wholly on 
vegetable food and indulge freely in alcoholic and narcotic 
substances, never become thus fierce and cruel and blood- 

vol. ii. 30 

350 graham's lectures on the 

thirsty. — And it is only when the vegetable-eating natives 
of India and the islands of the ocean, have tortured them- 
selves to the fiercest extremes of suicidal madness, by their 
excess in opium and arrack and other pernicious stimu- 
lants, that they rush furiously forward in the Work of 
violence and destruction and seem equally intent on giving 
and receiving death. (§ 1031.) 

§ 1288. So far as physiological and moral evidence 
can go to establish the point therefore, there; is the 
strongest reason to believe that the antediluvians, imme- 
diately preceding the flood, indulged to great excess in 
both flesh and wine: — for such a diet only, could 
produce the enormous wickedness and violence re- 
corded of them. If the Patagonians were as numer- 
i the Hindoos and as densely crowded together, 
and indulged as freely in the use of alcoholic, narcotic, 
and other intoxicating and stimulating substances, the 
wickedness and violence which would prevail among 
them, would exceed all description, and all power of 

239. Whether phrenology be true or false then, 
it remains equally true that, flesh-meat, more than proper 
vegetable food, develops and strengthens the animal pro- 
pensities and passions, — and especially those of a more 
exclusively selfish character: — rendering man more 
strongly inclined to be fretful and contentious and 
quarrelsome, and licentious, and cruel, and destructive, 
and otherwise vicious and violent and ferocious. — If any 
dependence can be placed on the statements which 
have come to us from reputable authority, even the tiger, 
if taken very young and reared upon a vegetable and 
milk diet, without ever being permitted to taste of flesh 
becomes remarkably gentle, and manifests none of that 
ferociousness, which is common to its species; — but if 


afterward it be fed on flesh it soon becomes ferocious, 
and cruel, and destructive. The same demonstration, as 
we have seen, (§ 849.) is afforded by feeding herbivorous 
animals on animal food. " In Norway, as well as in 
some parts of Hadramant and the Coromandel coasts," 
says Bishop Heber, "the cattle are fed upon the refuse 
of fish, which fattens them rapidly, but serves at the 
same time totally to change their nature and render them 
unmanageably ferocious." And it is an interesting fact, 
that the sacred scriptures fully confirm this doctrine. The 
prophet Isaiah, foretelling the coming of the gospel king- 
dom, and figuratively describing that reign of righteousness 
and peace when all the rancorous and ferocious passions of 
man, shall give place to placableness and gentleness and 
meekness and benevolence and charity, when the bear 
and the calf — the leopard and the kid — the lion and the 
lamb, and all other ferocious and gentle animals shall 
associate, and dwell, and lie down together in peace, 
says, " The lion shall eat stratv like an o#." Now what- 
ever interpretation any one may see fit to give to this 
passage in other respects, it is not possible there should 
be two opinions concerning the point under contempla- 
tion. Whether it be said that the prophet literally means 
that the lion and the lamb shall dwell together in peace 
and the lion shall eat straw like an ox, or that, by this 
language he intended to teach figuratively what shall take 
place in the human family, it remains equally true and 
equally evident that he designed expressly and clearly 
to teach the important relation between the natural 
temper and moral character, and the nature of the diet of 
the animal or individual. I cannot conceive that any one 
can be so blind or so perverse as not to see at a glance, that 
the prophet intended in a prominent manner, to associate 
the wonderful gentleness of the lion with his vegetable 

352 graham's lectures on the 

food, and thereby, clearly to teach the . relation between 
the carnivorous character of the lion and his natural fero- 
ciousness, and between his remarkable gentleness in the 
newstate of things, and his vegetable aliment. If therefore, 
the prophet had explicitly affirmed, in so many words, that 
flesh-meat tends more to develop and strengthen the selfish 
and contentious, and cruel, and ferocious passions, than 
pure vegetable food does, he would not have taught the 
doctrine more clearly than he has done in the passage 
before us. 

§ 1240. I do not however affirm that, those who sub- 
sist exclusively on vegetables and water, will never 
exhibit any unamiable passions. — To use the language 
of phrenology, combativeness, and destructiveness, and 
acquisitiveness, &c. are essential elements in the con- 
stitutional nature of man, originally designed for good 
and adapted to good; and no kind of aliment can 
ever obliterate them: nor is it desirable that they 
should be obliterated; — but rather that they should 
be properly subordinate to the intellectual and moral 
powers, and strictly maintain their functional in- 
tegrity with reference to their final causes. It must 
necessarily always be true therefore, in the present state 
of being, that man will be naturally capable of anger and 
other violent passions. And a thousand other, causes 
besides flesh-eating, and the use of intoxicating substances, 
are continually operating in civic life, to excite unlovely 
and injurious passions in man: — and for that very reason, 
flesh-eating is a far more powerful cause of these effects, 
in civilized than in savage life. The Patagonian may 
subsist wholly on flesh, with his other babits and circum- 
stances of life, and be tolerably gentle and peaceable; but 
bring him under the ten thousand exciting and irritating 
and debilitating mental and moral and physical causes of 


civic life, and be would soon find that his exclusively 
flesh diet was a powerful source of evil to him. (§ 1233. ) 

§ 1241. Vegetable-eaters certainly may, and often do 
become vicious, under certain circumstances: — but as a 
general fact, their vices are of a different character from 
those of flesh-eaters under similar circumstances; — they 
are less violent — less ferocious and blood-thirsty. The 
Hindoos, with their great excesses in opium, arrack and 
other intoxicating and stimulating substances, and situated 
amidst many circumstances unfavorable to industry and 
virtue, (§ 1031.) are often given to low and degrading 
vices, —such as deceit, lying, fraud, theft, &c. But when 
we consider how densely they are crowded together, — 
how indigent and how idle thousands of them are, and how 
universally they are accustomed to excess in various stim- 
ulants, we have reason to be surprised that so little of vio- 
lence and bloodshed should be perpetrated among them. 
The lazzaroni of Naples present a similar general fact. — 
Fortunately for the cause of humanity, those tribes of the 
human race, who subsist wholly or principally on flesh, 
cannot be prolific, (§ 1120.) and therefore, their popula- 
tion never becomes dense like that of India: — nor can 
they procure the means of habitual and free indulgence in 
the use of intoxicating substances. 

§ 1242. On the whole then, the comparative effects of 
animal and vegetable food in relation to the propensities 
and passions in the human species, are these. Flesh-meat 
is more stimulating, more heating than vegetable food, 
and its immediate effect on those who eat it, is to increase 
the energy of the more exclusively selfish propensities 
and the violence of the more turbulent, ferocious and mis- 
chievous passions. Its permanent effects, from genera- 
tion to generation as a general fact, are to increase the 
relative proportion of the lower and back part of the brain, 

354 graham's lectures on the 

and to cause the animal, to predominate over the intel- 
lectual and moral man: and when the numerous exciting, 
irritating, debilitating and depraving causes which abound 
in civic life, co-operate with this, their combined efficien- 
cy of evil is tremendous. And surely, it is of less im- 
portance to us, to know how far the savage in all the rude 
simplicity of his habits and his circumstances, may be able 
to endure the effects of an exclusively flesh diet, than to 
know what are the effects of flesh-meat on man in civic 

§ 1243. We have seen, (§ 1123. &c.) that in all con- 
ditions of life and in all circumstances, a well-chosen vege- 
table diet is better adapted to the organization and physio- 
logical properties, powers, laws and interests, of the hu- 
man body than flesh-meat; — yet that, in some conditions 
and circumstances man can subsist on flesh-meat, with less 
disadvantage than in others. — But the fact that the Es- 
quimaux and Patagonian in their conditions and circum- 
stances, can subsist on flesh with less disadvantage than 
the Hindoos could in theirs, should not lead us to con- 
clude that flesh is better for the Esquimaux and the Pata- 
gonian in their conditions and circumstances than vegeta- 
ble food, nor that it is as good. 

§ 1244. If now we recur to the explanation which I 
have given of the moral powers of man, or rather of the 
moral sense and conscience, (§603. et seq.) and apply 
the principles there laid down, to the reasonings before us, 
we shall find that flesh-meat, by augmenting the carnal 
influences on the intellectual and moral powers, (§ G17.) 
always increases the tendency of our understanding to 
misapprehend, and inaccurately weigh the evidences pre- 
sented to it, (§ 630.) and to arrive at erroneous conclu- 
sions on all questions of right and wrong, (§ 631.) and 
more especially when self is in the slightest degree inter- 


ested: and consequently, it always increases our tendency 
to form an erroneous conscience. (§ 633.) And also, if 
phrenology be true, in regard to the organs of benevolence 
and veneration and hope and marvellousness, (§ 546.) 
flesh-meat always tends to impair the functional integrity 
of those organs, and increases our tendency to misapply 
our benevolence, — to exercise our veneration super- 
stitiously on unworthy objects, even the basest idols, — to 
^cherish delusive and debasing hopes, and to give ourselves 
up to a superstitious faith and fanatical credulity. — The 
moral sense tells us to be right; but the understanding 
only can determine what is right. (§622.) — Hope 
prompts us to hope, but the understanding only can 
determine what to hope for. (§639.) — Veneration 
prompts us to reverence, but the understanding only 
can determine what we should venerate. — Marvellous- 
ness prompts us to exercise faith, but the understanding 
alone can determine what we may properly believe. — 
Thus, all the sentiments as simple elements in our moral 
constitution, merely prompt us to be cautious, to be right, 
to hope, to venerate, to believe, &c, but depend entirely 
on the understanding to determine what is true in regard 
to their simple dictates or promptings. 

§1245. But the understanding can only determine 
what is true, by examining and weighing evidences 
presented or apprehended: — and false evidences may be 
presented, or but part of the evidence in the case may be 
examined, or the evidence maybe inaccurately weighed; 
(§629.) yet, if, by any means, the understanding is fully 
brought to erroneous conclusions under the promptings of 
the moral sense, veneration, hope, &c, an erroneous 
conscience, a false reverence, a false hope, &c. neces- 
sarily result.. Now flesh-meat comes in, to diminish the 
sensorial power of the nervous system (§1135.) and 

356 graham's lectures on the 

thus, to impair the pure, healthy energy and activity of 
the sentiments, and the delicate power of the understand- 
ing to perceive moral and religious truth: (§633.) then, 
it increases the relative power of the animal propensities 
(§ 1239.) or the carnal influences on the operations of the 
understanding, (§630.) deceitfully seducing it to neglect 
or misapprehend, or inaccurately weigh evidences, and 
thus bringing it to erroneous conclusions: and finally, as 
a general and permanent fact, it tends to diminish the 
relative size of the upper and front parts of the brain, and 
thus to cause the animal, to predominate over the intel- 
lectual and moral man. (1228.) 

§ 1246. Thus, after having carefully and minutely 
examined all the anatomical and all the physiological 
evidence Jn relation to the natural dietetic character of 
man, we perceive that there is not the slightest reason 
for considering man an omnivorous animal: but that 
every jot and tittle, both of anatomical and physiological, 
and, I may add, of psychological evidence relevant to 
the question, go to prove most clearly and conclusively, 


§ 1247. But I shall again be asked: — What will you 
do with the grand fact that, a considerable portion of the 
human family have, for at least thousands of years, sub- 
sisted on a mixed diet of vegetable and animal food? 

§ 1243. I reply that God has created man with a con- 
stitutional adaptation to vegetable food; — so that, a pure 
and proper vegetable diet is essential to the highest and 
best condition of human nature: but God has also creat- 
ed man with a constitutional capability of adapting him- 
self—within certain limits, to that which is not compati- 
ble with the highest and best condition of human nature; 
but which, as it is more or less of an infraction of the 


laws of constitution and relation established in his system, 
will sustain the physiological and psychological interests 
of his nature with more or less disadvantage and deterio- 
ration. (§ 735.) 

§ 1249. This point may be illustrated by a most com- 
plete analogy. — Man was originally created with a con- 
stitutional adaptation to some particular climate: so that, 
there is, or has been, somewhere on the face of the 
earth, a particular climate which is perfectly adapted to 
the highest and best condition of human nature in every 
respect; and every departure from this, is necessarily 
attended with some disadvantage to the physiological 
interests of man's nature: — yet we find that mankind have 
actually spread themselves out over the whole globe, and 
acclimated themselves to every portion of the earth's 
surface: and from this grand fact we learn, — not that 
man is created with a constitutional adaptation to every 
climate over the whole face of the globe: — nor that one 
man is created with a constitutional adaptation to one 
climate, and another to another: but that man is created 
with a constitutional capability of adapting himself to a 
very great variety of climates. Nevertheless, it remains 
strictly true that there is a particular[climate which, of all 
others, is best adapted to the highest and best condition 
of human nature: and man possesses no such constitu- 
tional capabilities of adaptation, as will enable him to 
adapt any other climate to the highest and best interests 
of his nature; nor to adapt himself to any other climate 
in such a manner as to secure the highest and best inter- 
ests of his nature: but in all cases, he necessarily makes 
some sacrifice of those interests, by every departure from 
that particular climate, to which man, as a species, is 
constitutionally adapted. (§773.) True, if he goes into 
a cold climate, he can regulate the temperature of his 

35S graham's lectures on the 

body by clothing and other means; — yet the very means 
by which he thus artificially regulates the temperature of 
his body, are, necessarily, in all cases, to a greater or 
less degree, injurious to the physiological interests of his 
nature: — and still, with all these disadvantages, he may 
maintain life and health perhaps for a hundred years and 
more. But does this last fact prove that the climate in 
which he lives, is in the highest degree favorable to hu- 
man health and longevity? Most certainly it does not. 
(§ 882.) 

§ 1250. This reasoning is all strictly applicable to the 
dietetic character and capabilities of man. The grand 
fact that considerable numbers of the human family, 
have long subsisted on a great variety of vegetable and 
animal substances, proves— not that man is created with 
a constitutional adaptation to all the vegetable and animal 
substances from which the human body has physiological 
power to elaborate any nourishment: (§ 694.) — nor that 
one man is created with a constitutional adaptation to one 
kind of aliment and another man to another kind: — but 
that, man is created with a constitutional capability of 
adapting himself to a great variety of aliment. So that, 
if necessity requires it — in case of shipwreck or any 
other emergency, he can sustain life for a while, on 
almost any vegetable or animal substance in nature. 
Still it is none the less true that there are particular kinds 
of food, which, of all others, are most conducive to the 
highest and best condition of human nature, in every 
climate and in all circumstances. Nor does man possess 
any such constitutional capabilities of adaptation, as will 
enable him to adapt any other kinds of food to the highest 
and best interest of his nature; — nor to adapt himself to 
any other kinds of food, in such a manner as to secure 
the highest and best interests of his nature: (§ 773.) but 


in all cases, he necessarily makes some sacrifice of those 
interests by every departure from those particular kinds 
of food to which man as a species is constitutionally 
adapted. (§735.) — He may, it is true, by the exercise 
of his intellectual and voluntary powers, artificially prepare 
many substances, to which he is not constitutionally 
adapted, in such a manner as to render them more 
palatable and perhaps less pernicious to him; but he can 
never make them in the highest degree salutary to the 
physiological and psychological interests of his nature; — 
while the very artificial means which he employs in 
preparing those substances, are, in all cases, to a greater 
or less extent, sources of evil to him; (§ 418.) and though 
he may maintain life and health in this way for seventy 
or a hundred years, yet it by no means proves that his 
mode of living is most favorable to human health and 

§ 1251. Is it said that I make a distinction where 
there is no difference, when I speak of constitutional 
adaptation, and constitutional capability of adaptation? — 
I reply that the difference is obvious and essential. — 
Man is constitutionally adapted to water or the aqueous 
juices of fruits as a drink; and pure water is therefore, 
in the highest degree favorable to the physiological and 
psychological interest of man in all climates and in all 
circumstances, when drink is required: but he is not 
constitutionally adapted to ardent spirit as a drink: nor 
has he the capability of adapting ardent spirit as a drink 
to the physiological and psychological interests of his na- 
ture: — yet he has the constitutional capability of adapting 
himself to ardent spirit as a drink, — but not in such a 
manner as to secure in the highest degree, the physiologi- 
cal and psychological interests of his system (§ 773.) — 
on the contrary, he does great injury to those interests by 

3G0 graham's lectures, etc. 

such an adaptation, and in all cases, necessarily sacrifices 
those interests to a greater or less extent, by every de- 
parture from pure water as a drink. (§ 735.) Neverthe- 
less, extensive experience has fully demonstrated that 
man can so adapt himself to tea, coffee, cider, beer, wine, 
ardent spirit and other kinds of alcoholic and narcotic 
beverages, as to be able to use them habitually, and yet 
to maintain a degree of health, in some rare instances, 
for fifty, sixty, seventy years, and more. — Yet he always 
does it to the injury of the physiological and psychologi- 
cal interests of his nature, and at the risk of his life; and 
knows not at what moment his habits may precipitate him 
to destruction. — All this is true in regard to food: — and 
therefore, the fact that man is capable of adapting himself 
to any particular kind of aliment and of habitually subsisting 
on it, by no means proves that that kind of aliment is 
adapted to the highest and best condition of human na- 
ture, nor even that it is best adapted to the particular 
condition and circumstances in which he may individually 
be placed. — I repeat then, in the conclusion of this gen- 
eral topic, what I have frequently before stated, that noth- 
ing is more erroneous than our reasonings from experience 
on subjects of this kind may easily, and almost inevita- 
bly will be, if our investigations arc not governed by the 
most .rigidly accurate principles of physiological science. 


Experience in favor of a mixed diet, does not militate against the 
physiological principles advanced in these lectures — Health may be 
maintained at the expense of life — Intensive and extensive life incom- 
patible — Health not a proof of good habits — Case given — Healthiness 
of butchers — Ruddiness, how far an evidence of health — Brief reca- 
pitulation of the effects of animal food — What, on the whole, is best 
for civilized man in regard to flesh-meat — The necessity for flesh- 
meat in childhood — Scrofulous diseases in connexion with vegetable 
diet — If people will eat flesh, the best kind and manner — The Mosaic 
regulations physiologically correct — The flesh of clean animals in a 
state of nature best — Fatted animals diseased — Blood should not be 
eaten — why? — Fat should not be eaten — why? — Beaumont's experi- 
ment in regard to fat — The muscular fibre of clean healthy animals, 
the best part of the body — Birds, what kinds best — Fishes, what 
kind best — Preparations of animal food — Best raw — Best modes of 
cooking it — Liquid forms of food objectionable — Salted flesh and fish 
not good — smoked still worse — Butter better avoided — if any used r 
what, and how? — Butter bad for invalids — Cheese better avoided: — 
the best and most wholesome kind — Milk, general opinion and ex- 
perience concerning it — Anatomical and physiological principles con- 
cerned. — General conclusion concerning milk — Important that it 
should be from healthy cows fed on clean healthy food — Cream, if 
sweet and good, better than butter — Eggs, how best used if used at 
all — Flesh impairs the power of the stomach to digest vegetables and 
fruits — Concluding remarks in regard to animal food. 

§ 1252. We have seen (§708. — 807.) that, whatever 
be the diet on which man subsists, simple, plain, coarse, 
natural food is most perfectly adapted to the laws of 
constitution and relation established in his nature; — the 

VOL. II. 31 

262 graham's lectures on the 

most conducive to the health, vigor, and long life of the 
body, and most favorable to the energy and activity of 
the intellectual and moral faculties. — We have seen also, 
(§ 808. — 1251.) that, all the anatomical and physiological 
evidence which the human system affords in relation to 
the subject, fully and conclusively proves that man is 
naturally a frugivorous and granivorous — or a fruit and 
vegetable-eating animal. 

§ 1253. But the experience of a considerable portion 
of the human family for several thousand years, has also 
proved that, man can subsist on a mixed diet of animal 
and vegetable food, and in many instances enjoy good 
health, and possess great bodily and mental vigor, and 
attain to what is ordinarily considered very old age. 

§ 1254. This fact however, does not, in any degree, 
militate against the general conclusion established by 
anatomical and physiological evidence: — for, it should 
ever be remembered as one of the most important and 
invariable laws of our nature, that, ice may maintain 
health at the expense of life. — Or, as Professor Hufeland 
expresses it, (§ 1 115.) — " very sound health may shorten 
life." — Or, to state the proposition with more exactness 
and accuracy, — we may, by virtue of a sound and vigor- 
ous constitution, and by the help of many circumstances 
and habits favorable to health, strength, and longevity, 
maintain comparative health and vigor, until we attain to 
what, in modern times, is ordinarily considered old age, 
in spite of some circumstances and habits which are un- 
friendly to the highest physiological interests of our bodies, 
and which necessarily hasten the consumption of life; 
and consequently, shorten the period of our human exis- 
tence. For as I have stated, (§ 1109.) nothing is more 
true than that, intensive and extensive life are incompatible 
with each other, and it is universally admitted that flesh- 


meat always causes more vital intensiveness than pure 
and proper vegetable food does. (§ 919.) High-toned 
and vigorous health therefore, is not a conclusive proof 
that our dietetic habits are most favorable to health; nor 
is the long continuation of such health, a proof that our 
dietetic habits are most conducive to longevity. The 
truth of this important proposition is often strikingly 
demonstrated, by individual experience. I will present 
a single illustration. 

§1255. At the close of my introductory lecture, in 
one of the beautiful villages of New England, I was ad- 
dressed by a professional gentleman, of very considerable 
intelligence, who was not far from seventy years of age, — 
of portly appearance and seemingly in what is commonly 
considered, good health. He had a large frame, well 
clothed with flesh, and a somewhat florid complexion. 
Yet he was s.trictly temperate in regard to alcoholic 
liquors. — " I am glad to see you," said he, " and rejoice 
that you have consented to come and give a course of 
your lectures to our people: — I think there is great need 
of such instructions at the present day. — In our land of 
overflowing abundance, every body is in danger of 
excess; and I lament to see our young people so much 
devoted to the indulgences of luxury. — I shall certainly 
attend your lectures, and doubt not that I shall listen to 
them with great interest, although I do not expect to be 
benefited by them in my own person. I am now too 
far advanced in life to make any changes in my habits, 
with the hope of .being benefited, — even though seme 
of my practices might be considered a little exceptionable. 
Yet I have, by no means, been inattentive to these things; 
and I think I have the best evidence in the world, that my 
habits have been very salutary; — for I am now an old man, 
in the enjoyment of uncommon health and vigor for one 

364 graiiam's lectures on the 

of my age; — and during my whole life, since my remem- 
brance, I have not been so much indisposed as to be 
obliged to keep my house for a single day!" — Indeed 
sir! I replied, that may be very greatly your misfor- 
tune. — "Misfortune!" he reiterated with much empha- 
sis and surprise — " How can it be a misfortune to en- 
joy uninterrupted health for seventy years?" — Because 
sir, I answered, judging from the original soundness 
and vigor of your constitution, you are now but little past 
the meridian of your natural life; and the continued 
health of which you boast, may only have served to blind 
you to your dietetic and other errors relative to the laws 
of life, and to give you full confidence in the correctness 
of those habits, which may in the end, prove to have 
robbed you of nearly half of your natural existence. — 
It should be remembered that not one human being in a 
million dies a natural death. — If a man is shot, or stabbed 
or poisoned or killed by a fall, or some other means of 
this kind, we say he dies a violent death; — but if he is 
taken sick and is laid upon his bed, and is attended by 
physicians and friends, and waxes worse and worse and 
finally dies, perhaps with dreadful agonies and anguish, 
we say he dies a natural death. — But this is wholly an 
abuse of language, — a misstatement of fact; — the death 
in this latter case is as truly a violent death, as if the 
individual had been shot, or stabbed or poisoned. Wheth- 
er a man takes a dose of arsenic and kills himself at 
once, or takes small doses which more gradually and by 
more imperceptible degrees destroy his life, he equally 
dies a violent death,- — though the convulsive agonies, 
which attend his dissolution, may be less violent in the 
latter than in the former case. (§ 1106.) And whether 
he gradually destroys his life with arsenic, or any other 
means however common, he equally dies a violent death, 


— He only dies a natural death, who, during his whole 
existence, so perfectly oheys the laws of constitution and 
relation established in his nature, as neither by irritation 
nor intensity to waste his vital energies, but naturally and 
slowly passes through the progressive changes of his 
system, from childhood to old age, and finally, in the 
sheer exhaustion of his vital powers, lies down and falls 
asleep in death, without a struggle or a groan. 

§ 1256. The worthy gentleman, if not entirely con- 
vinced, was at least made thoughtful by my remarks: 
and so we parted. — At my next lecture I observed he 
was not present. — The third and fourth were given, and 
he still was absent. This excited my curiosity to make 
inquiries after him, — and I was surprised to learn that 
he was very ill. — A few days more elapsed, and I was 
informed that his physician considered him dangerously 
sick: — that Ins disease had thus far baffled the physi- 
cian's skill; and his symptoms had from the first con- 
tinued to become more and more violent, in spite of all 
the means which had been used to subdue them. I now 
called to see him and was exceedingly astonished to 
behold how great a change had taken place in his 
appearance in so short a time. — A few days after this, 
he died. — I however, visited him frequently before his 
death: — and at each interview, scarcely had I entered 
his room before he began to exhort me with much 
earnestness and pathos, to be faithful in my public labors, 
to warn the rising generation of the dangers of the 
table, and to entreat parents not to destroy their children, 
by multiplying and pampering their appetites in early 
life, till they had become such perfect slaves to them, 
as not to be able to deny themselves; but were led 
captive by their lusts to their destruction. Before 
he died, he requested that his body might be 


graham's lectures on the 

opened and examined after his demise. — I was politely 
invited to attend this post mortem examination. — And 
though I have seen many diseased bodies opened 
after death, yet never, in any instance, have I found 
disease so extensive as in this case. The entire stomach 
and intestinal canal and other portions of the abdominal 
contents, presented one general mass of deep and irre- 
mediable disease, which clearly indicated a progress of 
several years; and which was of a character that fully 
evinced that it was not produced by any sudden or violent 
cause; but that it was the result of causes which had 
been gradually operating, and by imperceptible degrees 
developing their effects, probably through the whole 
course of life. 

§ 1257. This individual was a pious, and I doubt not, 
a good man. — His habits, in all respects, had been such 
as good people in modern times consider strictly consis- 
tent with christian principles: — and there was no one 
thing, nor practice, nor circumstance, which could be 
fixed on as the specific cause of his disease. — He loved, 
indeed, the good things of the table, and enjoyed the 
social repast; — but always, as he believed, within the 
bounds of christian propriety; and was probably never 
more excessive than is extremely common for good 
men. — The cause of his untimely death was therefore, 
no particular outrage or violence done to his system; 
but the habitual oppression and over-working and con- 
sequent irritation of his organs, which a vigorous consti- 
tution had sustained for a remarkably long time: — and 
by that depravity of his physiological powers which I 
have pointed out; (§ 739.) — his system was unable to 
manifest those symptoms of the early stages of the 
disease in his organs, which would have enabled him to 
take timely measures to remove it, and therefore it pro- 


ceeded to the destruction of his life, without being even 
suspected by himself or his physician. For, before his 
body was opened, no one had the least expectation of 
such a disclosure as was made. 

§ 1258. This single case then, fully demonstrates for 
the whole human family, the important proposition, that 
present health is not a conclusive proof, that the dietetic 
and other habits of the individual are most favorable to 
health, nor does the continuance of health, prove that 
those habits are most conducive to long life. 

§ 1259. Butchers are often referred to as evincing 
the healthy and invigorating effect of a free use of flesh- 
meat. But I apprehend that there is a very general er- 
ror of opinion on this point. I have taken great pains to 
investigate this subject, and have made my inquiries very 
extensively among this class of men, in several of our 
principal cities. From the concurrent testimony of all 
intelligent butchers with whom I have spoken on the 
subject, I learn, 1. that as a general fact, there is far less 
flesh-meat consumed by butchers than is commonly sup- 
posed. Indeed they all assure me that as a class, they 
do not consume more of this kind of aliment than other 
members of society; and many of them eat less of it: 2. 
that butchers are more particular in regard to the kind and 
quality of their flesh-meat, than other people, — or to use 
their own language, they "eat none but the best:" 3. that 
there is much more indisposition and sickness among 
butchers than is acknowledged by those who write in fa- 
vor of animal food; and that where there is a free use of 
flesh-meat, the diseases are generally violent, and are apt 
to terminate fatally: 4. that those who indulge freely in 
flesh-meat rarely attain to old age: and, 5. that the 
healthy and robust appearance of butchers is more attri- 

368 graham's lectures on the 

butable to their regular habits and active employment in 
the open air, than to their animal food. 

§ 1260. There is another thing concerning which, a 
general error of opinion prevails. It is a common notion 
that a florid countenance, when not produced by intoxi- 
cating liquors, is a sure sign of good health, and that a 
pale complexion is an invariable indication of poor health. 
— It is true that there is a kind of sallow, sickly paleness 
which is a pretty sure sign that the functions of the sys- 
tem are not all healthfully performed; but it is far from 
being true that a ruddy countenance is always the index 
of good health; — and still farther from being true that it 
is always the index of that health which is most compati- 
ble with long life. " Too much ruddiness in youth," 
says Hufeland, "is seldom a sign of longevity." As a 
general fact, at all periods of life, it indicates that state 
of the system in which, either from disease or from inten- 
sity, the vital expenditure is too rapid for permanent 
health, and for longevity. The clear complexion in 
which the red and white are so delicately blended as to 
produce a soft flesh-color, varying from a deeper to a 
paler hue according as the individual is more or less ac- 
customed to active exercise in the open air, or to con- 
finement and sedentary and studious habits, is by far the 
best index of that kind of health and of that temperament 
which are most favorable to continued health, and length 
of days. 

§ 1261. As a general law of the human constitution 
then, (to which particular individuals may form tempo- 
rary exceptions,) flesh-meat, in any quantity, is not neces- 
sary nor best for man, in any situation; while exces- 
sive flesh-eating deteriorates his nature in every respect. 
It impairs the symmetry of his body and the beauty of 
his person, — renders him less supple and active and less 


able to endure severe and protracted effort and fatigue 
and exposure and privation, — impairs his complexion, — 
causes his breath to be fetid, and his body more liable to 
disease and less able to recover from it, — abbreviates the 
period of his earthly existence, — renders him less able to 
endure heat and cold, — and as a species less prolific, — 
diminishes the sensorial power of his nervous system, and 
consequently, the functional power of his organs of spe- 
cial sense, and of his intellectual and moral faculties, — in- 
creases the energy and violence of his more exclusively 
selfish propensities and passions, and renders him more 
dull, stupid, sluggish and sensual. — Nevertheless experi- 
ence has proved that the dietetic use of flesh, is, to a 
certain extent which is regulated by circumstances, com- 
patible with present health and strength, — and where cer- 
tain circumstances are favorable to longevity, admits of 
what is ordinarily considered, old age. (§ 925.) 

§ 1262. But while all this is true of the healthy and 
vigorous body, accustomed to much active exercise in 
the open air, it should ever be remembered that in civic 
life, as a general rule,* the diseased — the invalid — the 
delicate cannot with the same safety suffer flesh in any 
quantity nor in any form to enter into their diet. (§ 11 05.) 
It has been well observed by the distinguished Dr. 
Cheyne, of whom I have before spoken, (§1104.) that 
although they who are laboring under chronic diseases of 
certain kinds, may, by a strict and careful regimen, which 
admits of a small portion of flesh-meat in their diet, very 
considerably mitigate their symptoms, and perhaps for 
many years, continue in a tolerably comfortable state, as 

* There may be particular cases of disease in which, individuals who 
have always been accustomed to flesh-meat, may find it necessary to 
continue the use of this kind of food for a short time, on the same prin^ 
ciple that they use medicine, (§ 1104.) 

370 graham's lectures on the 

invalids, yet they cannot hope entirely to eradicate their 
disease and recover their original health, without a total 
abandonment of animal food. — It has also been judicious- 
ly observed by another celebrated writer on health, — 
that, when all the circumstances of civic life are taken 
into consideration, citizens generally should be regarded 
as invalids, by those who lay down rules of diet and gen- 
eral regimen for them: — for although they may not be 
actually diseased, yet the causes which continually con- 
spire to make them so, are so numerous and so power- 
ful, that they need to use the caution and the prudence of 
invalids in order to preserve the health which they pos- 
sess. Let it be understood however, that the caution 
and prudence here suggested, do not mean that citizens 
should be always taking medicine; or trembling lest a (vee 
breath of air should blow upon them, — nor always think- 
ing about their health,— but that they should carefully 
avoid those excesses and errors in their dietetic and oth- 
er habits, which are decidedly unfavorable to human 
health, and which none but the robust, active laborer in 
the open air, can long endure without disease,. and even 
he, never with impunity. 

§ 1263. But, whatever claims may be urged on the 
score of habit, for the necessity of flesh-meat, by those 
who have been long accustomed to the use of animal food, 
certain it is that no such claim can be set up in regard to 
the diet of children: — and it is equally certain that, as a 
general and permanent law of the human constitution, 
affecting, not only the individual, but the species from 
generation to generation, through all time, a pure and 
well-chosen vegetable diet, under a correct general regi- 
men, is in every respect, most favorable to the physiolo- 
gical and psychological interests of man; and therefore, 
it is the most suitable nourishment for children, and is best 


adapted to develop and sustain their bodies, in all their 
physical and vital and intellectual and moral powers. 

§ 1264. I am fully aware that the opinion has been 
frequently advanced and is perhaps generally entertained 
by medical gentlemen and others in England, Scotland 
and America, that the total absence of animal food in the 
diet of children, leads to scrofulous and other cachectic 
diseases; and that the best remedy for these diseases, is a 
generous diet consisting mostly of flesh-meal: — and the 
fact that in Scotland and other countries where the food 
of children is principally vegetable, these diseases greatly 
abound, has been repeatedly urged in proof of the cor- 
rectness of the opinion. But I am none the less confi- 
dent that the opinion is entirely erroneous; and that it 
has arisen from a total misapprehension and misinterpreta- 
tion of facts. In our own country, where animal food is 
almost universally consumed in great excess, and where 
cbildren are trained to the use of it, even before they are 
weaned, scrofulous affections are exceedingly common, 
and lead to that fearful prevalence of pulmonary consump- 
tion, which has rendered that complaint emphatically the 
American Disease. 

§1265. That a crude, watery diet, of ill-prepared vege- 
table food, in connexion with an improper general regimen, 
may lead to an unhealthy state of the solids and fluids of 
the body, in childhood, is unquestionably true: but an 
accurate and thorough investigation of the subject, will 
show that filthiness, impure air, and other unwholesome 
circumstances and errors of regimen, are infinitely more 
concerned in producing scrofulous diseases in the chil- 
dren of Europe, than the want of animal food. To say 
nothing of the well-fed vegetable-eating children of other 
countries in all periods of time, — the private and public 
experiments which have been made in the United States 

372 Graham's lectures on the 

within the last ten years, have fully demonstrated, not 
only that the very best health can be preserved in child- 
hood without the use of flesh-meat, but that feeble and 
cachectic children, and even those who are born with a 
scrofulous diathesis, can be brought into vigorous health 
on a well ordered vegetable diet, under a correct general 
regimen. — The extensive experiment which has been 
made in the Albany Orphan Asylum, since the close of 
1829, has afforded results so conclusively in favor of a 
pure vegetable diet for children, that they ought to com- 
mand the serious attention of every philanthropist, of 
every parent and of every one who may come under the 
responsibilities of a parent.* 

§ 1266. I say then, to every one and to all, as Moses 
said to the Israelites in the wilderness concerning their 
future habits in the promised Land, — if notwithstanding 
all that I have said against the use of flesh-meat, ye still 
say — " We will eat flesh because our souls long to eat 
flesh, — then eat ye whatsoever your souls lust after:" 
only permit me to point out to you with utmost brevity, 
the least objectionable kinds and modes of such trans- 

§ 1267. It is true, as the scriptures affirm and as I 
have before remarked, (§ 694.) that the human body 
is capable of deriving nourishment from "every liv- 
ing thing that moveth" in the animal kingdom — reptiles 
and vermin, as well as four-footed beasts, and fowls of 
the air and fish of the sea: and among the different por- 
tions of the human family, animals of nearly every known 
species belonging to our globe are devoured as food. 
But it is nevertheless true that some kinds of animals are 
less objectionable for human aliment than others, and 

* See a full account of this interesting Institution in the Appendix of 
this Volume, Note A. 


some portions of the animal body may enter into the diet 
of man with less injury to his physiological interests as an 
individual and as a species, than other portions. 

§ 1268. It is perhaps the prevailing opinion that the 
dietetic regulations of the Jews, instituted at mount Si- 
nai, constitute a special regimen adapiedtothe particular 
condition and circumstances of that people, and to the 
peculiar economy of the Mosaic dispensation: and it is 
undoubtedly true that, in some respects, those regulations 
were more immediately necessary to the preservation of 
individual health among the Jews, in their particular cli- 
mate, condition and circumstances, than they are to peo- 
ple who, in these respects, are very different. Still, 
however, it is an interesting and important truth that the 
dietetic regulations of Moses are founded on the physio- 
logical laws of the human constitution, and therefore, are 
universally applicable and always valid: for although, as 
a general fact, a disregard to those regulations would not 
produce the same morbid results in the transgressor in 
Arabia and in Lapland, yet in all cases and in every place, 
if animal food is used, a strict conformity to those regu- 
lations, would be better for man as an individual and as a 

§ 1269. If it be said that the dietetic regulations of 
Moses tolerate the use of flesh-meat, my reply is that I 
shall show in another work, that Moses permitted the 
Jews to eat flesh on the same principle that he suffered 
them to put away their wives, and that the whole econo- 
my of the Mosaic dispensation, aimed rather to restrict 
than to encourage the Jews in the use of this kind of food: 
and that his dietetic regulations concerning it, were obvi- 
ously designed to restrain them as much as possible, and 
confine them to the least objectionable kinds and prepara- 

vol. II. 32 

o?4 graham's lectures on the 

§ 1270. It is not necessary for me to specify the kinds 
of animals to which Moses limited the J ews. Every one 
who is curious on this subject, can easily refer to the Old 
Testament. It is sufficient for me to state in general 
terms, that they consist of those species whose natural 
food is the most pure, mild and unexciting, and whose 
flesh, when used as human aliment, is least stimulating 
in its nature, and least febrile and putrescent in its ten- 
dency. And of these animals none but the perfectly 
healthy and those that were properly killed,* were allowed 
to be eaten. — It is also an exceedingly important and 
interesting fact, to flesh-eaters, that in those days, when 
tillage was less artificial, and when flocks and herds grazed 
more at large, and subsisted more upon the spontaneous 
produce of the uncultivated soil, than in modern times, 
the flesh of the ox and sheep and other domesticated ani- 
mals, was far less unwholesome than the flesh of the 
same species of animals, fed and fattened on the produce 
of an exceedingly depraved, and, — if I may so speak — 
morbidly excited soil which has long been subject to the 
forcing and depraving processes of modern agriculture. 
Moreover, the confinement, and stall-feeding, and all the 
other artificial circumstances and educated habits of do- 
mesticated animals, render their flesh less wholesome for 
human aliment. Indeed, as I have already remarked, 
(§ 511.) most of the animals which in modern times are 
fitted for the slaughter-house and for interment in living 

* The animal is not stunned with blows, producing stagnation and 
congestion of the blood; the throat is cut with a remarkably sharp knife, 
and all the veins and arteries are emptied; the lungs are searched with 
the hand; if the liver attaches to the ribs, or there are impurities, mal- 
formation or any apparent disease, it is condemned, and the leaden seals 
are not attached to the meat. It is thus, that the observance of ancient 
law3 by this ancient people, gives them great protection against feeding 
on diseased animals. — V. Y. Eve. Star, Nov. 1833.— M. M. Noah. 


sepulchres, are actually in a state of disease when they 
are killed: and therefore, shocking as the thought may 
be, the human stomach in these days of elegant refine- 
ment, and of science and religion, is actually made a kind 
of "potter's field" to receive the unknown dead of every 
disease! Why should we marvel then, that putrid and 
malignant, and violent diseases, as well as those of a 
more chronic character, and less alarming symptoms, but 
more general prevalence, should so severely scourge the 
human family, — and especially in civic life! 

§ 1271. As a general rule therefore, the flesh of wild 
animals regarded as clean by the Mosaic regulations, and 
of the ox and sheep and other domesticated animals when 
suffered to roam at large in the pure air of the field, and 
to select their food from the produce of the natural or 
virgin soil, according to the undepraved instincts of their 
nature, is far less unwholesome, than the flesh of those 
animals which are reared and fattened on the produce of 
a cultivated soil and in the customary manner of modern 
times. — The very process of fatting I have said, (§511.) 
and I repeat it solemnly — the very process of fatting — 
and most especially in the artificial mode of stall-fee; 
— is a diseasing process, and the large accumulation of 
adipose or fatty matter in the body, is always, in some 
measure a morbid result of the unbalanced functions of 
the system. 

§ 1272. The Mosaic regulations most strictly prohib- 
ited the use of blood as human aliment. This prohibi- 
tion is founded on important moral, as well as physiolo- 
gical principles. — 'The sacredness of life in all cases, 
except when its destruction is necessary for the good of 
man or other animals, was more highly appreciated by 
the wise moralists and lawgivers of antiquity than by the 
christian philosophers of modem times. The Mo 

376 graham's lectures on the 

prohibition recognises the great moral truth that the wan- 
ton destruction of life in the lower animals, not only 
deadens the moral sensibilities and sympathies of man, 
but greatly diminishes, in his estimation, the sacredness of 
human life. — Nothing is more true than that familiarity 
with blood always hardens man and makes him more 
wantonly cruel. And when man not only sheds, but also 
devours blood, he is both morally and physiologically 
affected by it: — his moral sensibilities and sympathies are 
deadened and his selfish and destructive propensities are 
increased and rendered more vehement and ferocious. 
(§ 1222.) — Blood is oppressive to the human stomach, 
and digested by it with difficulty, and always produces a 
general increased excitement in the system, and tends to 
febrile and putrid diseases. It putrefies much sooner 
than the animal solids: and when animals are strangled or 
put to death in any manner by which the blood is retain- 
ed in their bodies, it causes an earlier and more rapid 
change and putrid decomposition in the solids, rendering 
them far less wholesome for human nourishment. It is 
also an important fact, that when animals have eaten or 
inhaled any poisonous substance, and it has been taken up 
by the absorbents, (§ 45S.) the state of the blood is more 
immediately and extensively affected by it than that of 
the solids: and when by any means, the animal becomes 
either locally or generally diseased, the blood and other 
fluids of the system are much sooner brought into that 
morbid state which will produce disease in the consumer, 
than the solids. Hence thousands of cattle are slaugh- 
tered in a state of disease and their flesh is eaten without 
producing any immediate symptoms of disease in the 
consumers: but if those same cattle were strangled, and 
their flesh eaten with the blood in it, or the blood eaten 


alone, it would almost inevitably produce immediate dis- 
ease in the consumers. 

§ 1273. Another exceedingly important dietetic regu- 
lation in the institutions of ?«Ioses was the prohibition of 
fat. He proclaimed it as "a perpetual statute for then- 
generations, throughout all their dwellings, that they should 
eat no manner of fat, — of ox nor of sheep nor of goat nor 
of any other beast." And this is not merely a special 
statute adapted to particular situations and circumstances, 
but it is a regulation founded on the permanent physio- 
logical laws established in the human constitution. 

§ 1274. The adipose or fatty matter of animal bodies, 
we have seen, (§ 508. — 511.) is a crude oily substance, 
resulting — when exceeding a small quantity in particular 
parts (§508.) — from excessive alimentation, or unbal- 
anced action between the organs of composition and de- 
composition; (§509.) and is deposited in small sacs in the 
cellular tissue, till it can be removed by the absorbents 
and eliminated from the system. In the cells of this same 
tissue also, and closely associated with the adipose matter, 
other capillary exudations are often deposited; and among 
these, are some of a very morbid and even of a very del- 
eterious character. Thus, when tobacco, alcohol and 
other poisons arc taken into the system, there is, as we 
have seen, (§960.) at first, a general rallying of the vital 
id energetic reaction till they are wholly expel- 
led from the vital domain: but when these substances are 
habitually used. till the organic sensibilities are depraved 
(§738.) and the integrity of the vital functions greatly 
impaired, the vital reaction is less energetic, and instead 
of an entire expulsion of the deleterious substances from 
the body, a portion of them is deposited in the cellular 
tissue with the adipose matter; where it often remains 
for months, and sometimes causes extensive bloating and 

378 graham's lectures on the 

■even general dropsy. I have known persons who had 
been greatly addicted to chewing, smoking or snuffing 
tobacco, and who, after an entire abstinence from it in 
every form, for several months, on coming from a vapor 
bath which had caused profuse perspiration, emit a pow- 
erful tobacco odor from their whole surface. Indeed I 
once saw a young person made sick at the stomach by 
rubbing the body of such an individual when he came 
from the bath. — The individual was a friend of mine 
whom I had taken to the bath on purpose to try the ex- 
periment, and he assured me that he had not used a par- 
ticle of tobacco in any manner for four months. The 
keeper of the bath informed me that he had observed the 
•same fact in many instances: and that some invalids who 
had boarded with him and been under his care, taking 
the bath three times a week, had continued to emit the 
tobacco odor, on coming from the bath, for several 
weeks in succession, when not a particle of tobacco had 
been used by the individuals for months. The same 
thing he had also observed in persons who had previous- 
ly been much addicted to drinking alcoholic liquor, and 
others who had taken much medicine of certain kinds. 

§1275. These facts, which maybe relied on with 
entire confidence, clearly prove that the vital ecohomy 
has some depository out of the general circulation, and 
at the greatest remove from the most important vital 
properties and functions of the system, where it disposes 
of those deleterious and other offensive and superabundant 
substances which, from any cause, it is unable wholly to 
eliminate from the vital domain: and this we have seen, 
(§ 509.) is none other than the adipose tissue. And 
hence, it is evident that when from poisonous or unwhole- 
some food or from any other cause, morbid and deleteri- 
ous deposits take place in the animal system, the general 


receptacle is that portion of the cellular tissue which 
contains the adipose matter; and there is the strongest 
reason to believe that those substances become closely 
associated with the fat. 

§ 127G. But whatever may be thought of this objec- 
tion to animal fat as a portion of human aliment, there 
are other physiological reasons which show most deter- 
rninately and conclusively, that it is not proper for the 
food of man. We have seen (§ 462.) that the assimila- 
ting organs of man digest this substance with great diffi- 
culty, and that they cannot digest it at all, except in very 
small quantities, without a departure from the perfectly 
regular and normal order of their functions: — and even 
by these means, they are never able to assimilate it so 
perfectly but that its crudeness is always manifested in 
the chyme, chyle, and blood, when it is freely eaten. — 
Dr. Beaumont, of whose interesting " experiments and 
observations on the gastric juice and the physiology of 
digestion" I have already spoken, (§431. Note) has 
fully settled this question. 

§ 1277. Bile, it will be remembered, is secreted by 
the liver (§461.) and emptied into the duodenum (§338.) 
or small intestine, about four inches below the pyloric 
orifice of the stomach; (§341.) and naturally ought to 
descend along the intestinal tube (§462.) with other ex- 
crementitious substances, but it may, by a reverted action 
of the parts, be carried up and emptied into the stomach, 
and discharged by vomiting, as when emetics are taken — 
in paroxysms of sick-headache, &c. — As a general fact, 
whatever produces irritation in the stomach, has a ten- 
dency to cause the bile to be brought into the gastric 
cavity. — "Bile," says Dr. Beaumont, "is seldom found 
in the stomach except under peculiar circumstances. — 
Irritation of the pyloric extremity of the stomach, and 


external agitation by kneading with the hand, on the 
right side, over the region of the liver and pylorus, and 
also violent fits of anger, occasion a flow of bile into the 
gastric cavity: and I have observed that when the use of 
fat or oily food has been persevered in for some time, 
there is generally the presence of bile in the gastric 
fluids. Magcndie expresses the belief that c in certain 
morbid conditions the bile is not introduced into the 
stomach;' implying that in a healthy state it is always to 
be found there. But there can hardly be a greater mis- 
take. With the exceptions that I have mentioned, it is 
never found in the gastric cavity in a state of health: — 
and it is only in certain morbid conditions that it is found 
• there. When much fat meat or oily food has been used, 
the oil always maintains an ascendency in the gastric cav- 
ity. — Bile is required and necessarily called into the 
stomach only for the purpose of facilitating the chymifi- 
cation of all fatty and oily aliments (§4G2.) and its ad- 
mixture with the gastric juice, seems to retard the digest 
of all other than oily food." 

§ 1278. It is therefore, fully ascertained by the expe- 
riments and observations of Dr. Beaumont, that in a per- 
fectly healthy state of the stomach and equable frame 
of mind, bile is never introduced into the gastric cavity, 
by the action of the parts: — and its presence in the 
stomach may be regarded as an indication of morbid 
gastric irritation from mental or physical causes; and it 
may be considered a foreign and offending substance in 
that organ; retarding, or otherwise disturbing the func- 
tion of digestion, in all cases except when oily substan* 
are eaten; and then it is necessary in order to convert 
the oil into a kind of saponaceous substance, and thus 
prepare it for the action of the gastric fluid. (§ 4G2.) 

§ 1279. By whatever means introduced then, bile is 


always a cause of more or less irritation to the stomach, 
and through it, to the whole domain of organic life; and 
frequently, to the whole animal system; and particularly 
the brain: — hence, it is fully evident that as procuring 
causes of gastric irritation and aberration of function, 
fat meats and animal oils of every kind, tend to debilitate 
the digestive organs, and to induce in them a chronic 
morbid irritability; — and especially in civilized life where 
numerous other causes co-operate to produce the same 
result. Moreover, the great difficulty with which they 
are digested and the imperfectness with which they are 
assimilated in all the vital processes, (§ 462.) render them 
still further the causes of irritation and disease to the 
system. The particular character of the disease, which 
they cause, varies according to the peculiar predisposi- 
tion and general circumstances and habits of indivi- 
duals. — In some, it will take the form of dyspepsy, — in 
others, of liver complaint, — in others, of chronic diarrhoea, 
— in others, of pulmonary consumption, — in others, of 
sick-headache, — in others, of eruptions of the skin,— 
salt-rheum, — St. Anthony's fire, — erysipelas, &c. — in 
others leprosy, &c. — In very hot climates, the injurious 
effects of oily food are much sooner and more power- 
fully felt than in very cold climates; and hence, though 
it may be tolerated with apparent safety in the latter, it 
must be avoided in the farmer. Nevertheless, it is 
decidedly objectionable in all climates, situations and 

§ 1280. After what has been said concerning the 
dietetic regulations of Moses, (§ 1268.) and the use of 
animal fat as human aliment, (§ 1273.) it is hardly neces- 
sary to remark, that from every consideration, pork, or 
the flesh of swine is wholly unfit for the food of man, 
and will never be eaten by those who know and regard 

382 graham's lectures on the 

the physiological Jaws which a wise and benevolent 
Creator has established in their constitution. 

§1281. The muscular fibre, or lean meat of clean, 
healthy animals, which are allowed to run at largo and 
feed according to their undepraved instincts, on the pure 
produce of the natural soil, is therefore, the most 
wholesome kind of flesh-meat — or the least unwholesome 
kind that can be employed for human nourishment. 

§ 1282. What 1 have said in regard to the flesh of 
four-footed animals, is also true of the feathered tribes. 
Birds that subsist on flesh and fish, should never be eaten 
by man; — those which live on fruits and seeds and grass, 
are less objectionable. The wild are, generally speaking, 
less unwholesome than the domesticated, or tame. — Of 
the latter, the common farm-yard fowl and turkey, when 
kept on proper food, and not diseased in fatting, are 
decidedly less objectionable than geese and ducks. The 
flesh of these last, is too oily and too compact arid hard, 
to be digested without much difficulty; and therefore, 
requires a vigor of the digestive organs, rarely possessed 
in civilized life, except by robust, active laboring men. 

§ 1283. Concerning fish, the Mosaic regulations are 
strictly correct. Fresh scale-fish, recently taken from 
the ocean, or rivers of pure water, or from clear, run- 
ning streams, or from lakes which are continually fed by 
living fountains, and have outlets by which they send 
forth their waters incessantly, are the only kinds of the 
inhabitants of the deep, which men who use animal food, 
should ever taste of, unless it be to prevent starvation, 
in cases of extreme necessity. 

§ 12S4. The flesh of such fish, is less exciting and 
also less nourishing than the flesh of the ox, and sheep, 
and other quadrupeds. — Those portions of the human 
family who subsist from generation to generation, prin- 


cipally or almost entirely on fish, are, on an average, 
under the middle size, and often even dwarfish in stature, 
and generally, if not invariably, destitute of bodily sym- 
metry. — But where a little dried or boiled fish is occasion- 
ally eaten, as a condiment, with bread or other kinds of 
vegetable food, its efFects upon the human system can 
scarcely be appreciated: — and it is perhaps, no farther 
objectionable, than as it involves a general principle in 
relation to the use of animal food, — and is, so to speak 
— a stepping over the line of demarkation between the 
two kingdoms — and an opening of the way for unbounded 
excesses in carnivorous habits, in others, if not in our- 

§ 1285. In regard to shell-fish, notwithstanding clams, 
oysters and lobsters are such favorite articles of food 
with multitudes in civic life, and notwithstanding oysters 
have been so extensively recommended by physicians, to 
invalids and convalescent patients, it is nevertheless certain 
that the Mosaic prohibition of them is well founded; and 
that, they never should be eaten by mankind, except in 
extreme emergencies, when nothing less objectionable 
can be procured for food: — and most especially should 
they be avoided in civic life, where so many other causes 
are continually operating to impair the health and destroy 
the life of man. — I am aware of all that has been said in 
praise of their effects on invalids, — but those efFects are 
generally, if not invariably specious and delusive, and do 
not deserve the credit which they have received. — When 
an individual of considerable constitutional power, expe- 
riences an attack of acute disease, and is suddenly 
reduced by remedial means, and kept for several days 
under the effect of medicine, with very little or no food 
till the disease is subdued and healthy action restored, 
the demand of the vital economy for alimentation is so 

384 graham's lectures on the 

great, that there is as it were, a general rallying and con- 
centration of the vital forces in the digestive organs, 
giving them a functional power far in advance of the 
general ability of the system, and enabling them to per- 
form their assimilating function with uncommon energy 
and rapidity; and in many instances, to digest food with 
apparent ease which would occasion a fit of dyspepsy 
in the ordinary state of the stomach in civic life. This 
important fact, not being understood, has led to unbounded 
delusion in regard to the dietetic regimen of convalescent 
patients: and caused relapses and death in thousands of 

Preparation of Jlnimal Food. 

§ 1286. Revolting as it may sound to ears refined, and 
shocking as the idea may be to civilized human beings, 
still the stern truth of physiology compels me to 
declare that flesh, recently killed and eaten entirely raw, 
is least injurious to any animal that subsists upon it. — It 
is less rapid in its progress through the stomach, (§ 745.) 
less exhausting and debilitating to the digestive organs, 
less exciting to the system generally, and is more per- 
manently sustaining to the physiological powers of the 
body, than when it has been subjected to the changes of 
culinary preparations. 

§ 1287. I know that for a single meal or for a short 
time, a stomach unaccustomed to raw flesh, would not 
so comfortably dispose of it, as it would of that which 
had been previously prepared in a customary manner. 
Nevertheless, as a general fact, extending from generation 
to generation, it is strictly and incontrovertibly true that, 
if mankind eat flesh at all, they will better serve the phys- 
iological interests of their bodies, in every respect 


— maintain more vigor of the organs, more integrity of their 
functions, secure more uniform, and sounder health and 
longer life, and a clearer, more active and powerful in- 
tellect, by eating it entirely raw, than by eating it after 
it has been prepared by cooking in any manner whatever. 

§ 12S3. But it may perhaps be said that the great nat- 
uralist Cuvier declares that, "neither the jaws nor the 
teeth of man will allow him to devour flesh unless it is 
previously prepared by cooking." (§ S56.) I reply that 
Cuvier was incomparably better acquainted with com- 
parative anatomy and the natural history of animals, than 
with physiology. He was entirely correct when he said 
that, "judging from his structure, the natural food of 
man appears to consist of fruits, roots, and other esculent 
parts of vegetables:" — but when he said that, " once pos- 
sessed of fire, and those arts by which he is aided in 
seizing animals, or killing them at a distance, every living 
being was rendered subservient to his nourishment, there- 
by giving him the means of an infinite multiplication of 
his species," he only offered a fanciful apology for the 
carnivorous habits of a considerable portion of the human 
family. — But the truth is that if man chooses to eat flesh, 
his jaws and teeth will not only allow him to eat it raw, 
but they and all his other alimentary organs and all the 
physiological interests of his body, will suffer less injury 
from eating it in that state than from eating it after it has 
been cooked by fire. 

§ 1289. If however, the civilized portion of the human, 
race will not consent to eat their flesh-meat entirely raw, 
the best mode of cooking it is to roast, or broil, or boil 
it. — The old-fashioned way of roasting flesh, suspended 
by a string before a large fire, and constantly turned 
round till it is moderately done through, is perhaps the 
very best manner of cooking it. — Boiling renders it less 

vol. ii. 33 

386 Graham's lectures on the 

stimulating and also less nourishing. — Stewing flesh is a 
more objectionable mode of preparing it; and frying it in 
fat or grease of any kind is decidedly the most pernicious 
manner in which it can be prepared by culinary art. It 
is enough to break down the digestive powers of any 
stomach. — The muscular fibre and other parts become 
thoroughly permeated and saturated with the hot fat; so 
that if the flesh thus cooked, is ever so much masticated 
or retained ever so long in the mouth, the particles can- 
not imbibe the saliva, (§ 42G.) and they descend into the 
stomach, prepared to resist the action of the gastric fluid 
and all the physiological powers of that organ, and thus 
to retard digestion, and cause irritation and derangement 
of function, and prepare the way for a terrible train of 

§ 1290. Flesh soups and broths are also very objec- 
tionable forms of animal food. Soups are altogether too 
complicated to be healthy. Besides, it may be laid down 
as a general and very important rule, founded on the ana- 
tomical and physiological laws of the human system, that in 
proportion as artificial preparations of food render the func- 
tion of mastication unnecessary, they are injurious to the 
teeth, (§719.) and detrimental to all the alimentary or- 
gans, and to the physiological interests of the whole sys- 
tem, lam aware that flesh broths, chicken broth, &c. 
have formerly been very commonly ordered by physicians 
for their convalescent patients; — but practising physi- 
cians have not all been very careful to make themselves 
thoroughly acquainted with those physiological laws which 
should govern them in prescribing the diet of the sick; 
and this is probably one of the principal reasons why they 
have not been more successful in the treatment of dis- 

§ 1291. We have seen, (§748.-755.) that every 


kind of concentrated aliment is more or less injurious to 
the stomach and through it to the whole system. — Flesh 
broths consist of a quantity of water, holding in solution 
or in a fluid state, some of the nutrient principles of the 
flesh in a very concentrated form. When this kind of 
food is swallowed into the stomach, the very first duty 
which that organ performs, is to take up, (§ 450.) with 
its absorbents, (§ 452.) all the water which contains the 
concentrated nutrient principles of the flesh, and with 
the water, the salt, if any, held in solution by it, while 
the concentrated animal matter is retained in the stomach, 
like a kind of sediment, to be digested into chyme, and 
pass into the intestinal tube like other food; — and as 
there is no mastication of this food, and consequently no 
mixture of saliva with it in the mouth, when the water of 
the broth is all absorbed, the remaining concentrated an- 
imal matter is left even more dry than is the ingested food 
which was received into the mouth in a solid form and 
freely masticated and mixed with the salivary fluid. — 
Moreover, solid aliment, when properly masticated and 
slowly swallowed into the stomach, always excites a more 
ready and more copious secretion of the gastric juice, 
and a more free and vigorous action of the muscular tis- 
sue of the stomach. — Flesh broths therefore, always 
serve to vex and irritate and to debilitate the digestive 
organs; and should be particularly avoided by those whose 
digestive powers are feeble. 

§ 1292. Salted. flesh and fish of every kind, are less 
easily digested and less nourishing than fresh; yet they 
will sustain a laboring man longer, because they pass less 
rapidly through the stomach, (§ 1025.) and for this rea- 
son, salted pork, is commonly considered the best food 
for hard-laboring men; as, — to use their own language — 
it will stick by them longer than any other food. Salt is 

388 graiia.m's lectures on the 

itself an indigestible substance, and when it has penetra- 
ted animal substances so as to preserve them from the 
process of putrefaction, it renders them much more diffi- 
cult of digestion, and consequently, in some degree 
causes irritation to the digestive organs. Fat pork 
thus preserved, being an oily substance, as well as con- 
taining salt, is still longer in passing through the stomach, 
than other kinds of salted animal food; — and when the 
digestive organs have sufficient vigor to perform their 
functions in spite of its disturbing qualities, the individual 
feels himself remarkably well sustained in the gastric re- 
gion, by such aliment; — yet if he is an accurate obser- 
ver of his own experience, he will soon learn that, though 
his stomach is longer kept employed by salted pork, his 
body is not saved by it from great weariness, at the close 
of his day's labor. This weariness, which is scarcely 
felt at all by the laborer who subsists on a pure vegetable 
diet, is much increased by the protracted employment 
of the stomach in disposing of the salted pork. (§ 1270. 

§ 1293. Flesh and fish that are both salted and smoked, 
are yet more difficult of digestion; and more oppressive 
and irritating to the assimilating organs. Yet it is not 
uncommon to see upon the breakfast table of feeble inva- 
lids, a dish of salted and smoked fish, broiled and, per- 
fectly saturated with butter, and perhaps also dressed 
with mustard and pepper. — Such a dish is enough to give 
a hyena a fit of dyspepsy. 

§ 1294. From what has been said concerning the 
dietetic use of animal fat, (§ 1273.) it must be very 
obvious that gravies of every kind, containing oily matter 
— whether the drippings of the flesh or melted butter, 
are exceedingly objectionable and mischievous. — Indeed, 
most of the made gravies on our public and fashionable 


tables, and all too common everywhere in civic life, are 
execrable compounds which are infinitely more fit for 
the soap-boiler's vat, than for the human stomach! — It is 
not easy to use language too strong, in reprehension ol 
these vile dishes: — for it would not be easy to measure 
the extent of the evil which they cause. They are truly 
abominable preparations and ought to be regarded with 
deep and permanent abhorrence. 

§ 1295. Concerning the use of butter as an article 
of diet, it is somewhat remarkable that with all the diver- 
sity of opinions in regard to the food of man, nearly all 
who have written or spoken on the subject of human 
aliment with reference to health, have been entirely agreed 
in considering this favorite article as decidedly objection- 
able, — and some have spoken of it in the severest terms 
of condemnation. Dr. Beaumont's experiments and ob- 
servations (§431.) fully prove that when butter is taken 
into the stomach with other substances, "it becomes a 
fluid oil and floats upon the top of the chymous mass, 
retaining its oily character and appearance, till all the 
other contents of the gastric cavity, are nearly, or entirely 
chymified and emptied into the duodenum," (§ 338.) and 
it, like all other animal fat, (§ 1277.) is digested only, 
by being first acted on by a portion of bile and converted 
into a kind of saponaceous substance, and then it receives 
the action of the proper solvent fluid of the stomach. 
The point is therefore, for ever established beyond all 
controversy that butter is better avoided than eaten by 

§ 1296. But if civilized human beings are determined 
to continue the use of butter, in spite of every physio- 
logical demonstration, and in defiance of consequences, 
then certain regulations in regard to it, at least, should be 
observed. — In the first place, none but the healthy anil 

390 graiiam's lectures on the 

vigorous and active and full-grown should ever presume 
to use it. Diseases of every kind, both acute and 
chronic are aggravated by it, though it may produce no 
distress, nor sensible disturbance in the stomach. — The 
delicate and feeble and inactive suffer more from it than 
the robust. And children and youth are always more 
injured by it than healthy adults: — and this is none the 
less true and important, because in consequence of the 
energy and elasticity of the youthful constitution, the 
injurious effects do not immediately manifest themselves 
by powerful and indubitable symptoms. — In the second 
place, none should be used but that which is perfectly 
sweet, and recently made from the milk of healthy cows, 
which are permitted to run at large in the open air, or if 
housed at all, kept in clean and well-ventilated stables, 
and fed on good, clean grass or hay of the best kind, free 
from weeds and every poisonous herb; for, every impurity 
or pernicious substance that finds its way into the bodies 
of the cows by absorption, will inevitably affect the 
quality of the butter. (§ 1304.) When butter becomes 
old and strong or rancid, it is still more offensive to the 
digestive organs, and more unfriendly to health. — In the 
third place, those who use butter at all, should use it 
very sparingly, and never in the melted form. 

§ 1297. If a small quantity of butter is spread upon 
cold bread or other "kinds of food, the article upon which 
it is spread may be masticated and freely mixed with the 
salivary fluid in the mouth, and thus its particles will be 
prepared to resist the penetrating quality of the butter 
when converted into oil, in the stomach, and prepared 
also, for the action of the gastric fluid. But, if the but- 
ter is spread upon hot bread or other kinds of food, or, 
is first melted and turned upon the food — unless it be 
some impenetrable substance — it will permeate it so 


thoroughly, that, however finely it may afterwards be 
masticated or ground in the mouth, the particles being 
saturated with the oil, will wholly resist the action of the 
salivary fluid, and descend into the stomach prepared to 
stand out long against the action of the gastric juice. 
This is the reason why all kinds of pastry, in which but- 
ter or lard or some other kind of oily substance is freely 
and intimately mixed up with flour, are so exceedingly 
oppressive and embarrassing to the debilitated stomach, 
and always so trying and injurious even to the most vig- 
orous and unimpaired digestive organs. 

§ 1298. Bread toasted and completely saturated with 
butter, is a very common dish for those who are laboring 
under chronic disease; and yet few preparations of food 
could be worse for them. I have seen individuals in the 
last stage of pulmonary consumption, partaking freely of 
such a dish; and when I have remonstrated with them, 
they have defended the improper indulgence on the ground 
that it agreed perfectly well with their stomachs. Poor 
souls ! they knew not that the iniquities of their stomachs 
were visited upon their suffering lungs and through them 
on the whole system: (§ 1105.) and that to this fact alone, 
their stomachs owed their immunity from distress when- 
ever they partook of such a dish. (§521.) I have seen 
others laboring under painful chronic disease of many 
years' standing, frequently and freely partaking of hot 
short-cakes swimming in melted butter; and I have often 
seen them very much displeased when I pointed out to 
them the impropriety Of their eating such food. It is 
needless to say that such invalids never recover health 
while they continue such practices. As a general rule 
then, butler should never be used in a melted form, nor 
upon any thing hot enough to melt it. 

§ 1299. Cheese, in the stomachs of dyspeptics, and 

392 graham's lectures on the 

others of feeble digestive powers, is always a difficult 
thing to manage: but robust, active laboring men, of 
general simplicity of habits, are able to digest it in small 
quantities, without experiencing any immediate, sensible 
inconvenience, when it is pure and good, and used as 
a condiment with bread and other kinds of farinaceous 
food. Rich old cheese, which is most sought after by 
epicures, and which has been recommended by some, as 
a good promoter of digestion, is always digested with 
great difficulty, and causes much irritation in the stomach, 
and not unfrequently produces extensive eruptions or in- 
flamed pustules or blisters of the mucous membrane of 
the stomach and mouth. — Cheese not more than three 
months old, made of milk from which the cream or oily 
matter has mostly been taken, is far more easily digested, 
and is in every respect, less unwholesome and less objec- 
tionable than that which is ordinarily considered the best. 
But in making this, as well as other kinds of cheese for 
market, it is quite fashionable for the manufacturers to 
put in annatto and even arsenic and other poisonous sub- 
stances, to give it a rich and creamy appearance and 
taste. It is no uncommon thing for whole families to be 
made seriously sick by eating cheese which is thus adul- 
terated. — The curd made by the ancients, and in mod- 
ern times, by the Germans and others, and called pot- 
cheese, is decidedly the most wholesome cheese that is 

§ 1300. Milk has been praised by almost every writer 
on human diet, as being one of the most nourishing and 
wholesome kinds of food that man can eat. Chemical 
physiologists have told us that it is the only single article 
which contains within itself, every element essential to 
human nourishment. Mr. Riley informs us that the 
Arabs of the desert live two or three hundred years, in 


excellent health, exclusively on the milk of their camels. 
(§789.) Milk we know, is the natural food for children 
and the young of all mammiferous animals. And the 
experience of the human family for thousands of years, 
has proved that milk is a very nourishing and wholesome 
and invigorating article of food for man in almost every 
situation, condition, and circumstance, in which he may 
be placed. In short, there is a vast amount of evidence 
in favor of milk as an important article in the diet of 
mankind. — And it is very certain that, not only for those 
who are laboring under disease of any kind, and for the 
delicate and feeble and for the young and for the seden- 
tary, but also for those whose situations and duties require 
the greatest bodily strength and activity, and ability to 
endure protracted fatigue and privation and exposure, a 
milk and vegetable diet is far better than a flesh and vege- 
table diet. — Nevertheless, eight years of very extensive 
experiment and careful observation, have shaken many of 
my preconceived opinions concerning milk as an article 
of human food. 

§ 1301. The testimony of hundreds of individuals in 
all the various situations and conditions and circum- 
stances of civilized life, is entirely unanimous on this 
subject. — All explicitly affirm that though they do better 
on a milk and vegetable diet, than on one of flesh and 
vegetables, yet they do best when they confine them- 
selves to a diet of pure vegetable food and pure water. 
I have found that dyspeptics and invalids of every de- 
scription, do better when they abstain from the use of 
milk than when they use it, and in many cases it is indis- 
pensably necessary to prohibit milk. — Farmers, mecha- 
nics, and others whose labors are severe, and who require 
great bodily strength and ability of endurance, all declare 
that they feel more vigorous and active, and labor with 
greater ease and elasticity, and experience less exhaus- 

394 graham's lectures on the 

tion and sense of fatigue at the close of the day, — when 
they abstain from milk and subsist exclusively on vege- 
table food and water, than when they use milk. 

§ 1302. And this general testimony from experience, 
is certainly in strict accordance with the anatomical and 
physiological evidence of the human system and the 
general analogy of nature. — The young of all mammi- 
ferous animals including those of the human species, 
naturally subsist for a certain period exclusively on milk. 
Those of the lower animals in a state of nature, in pro- 
per time, instinctively begin to accustom themselves to 
other kinds of food adapted to their systems, and finally, 
abandon their milk aliment entirely, and the fountains 
from which they drew it, wholly dry up. — The alimen- 
tary organs of children are in a condition requiring 
liquid food; and milk is peculiarly adapted to their 
physiological wants and powers. — As they grow older 
however, new organs are developed, (§ 324.) adapted to 
new functions and adapting the system to new kinds of 
aliment: and there is no good reason to doubt that, 
simultaneously with the development of the teeth, in a 
perfectly normal state of the system, correspondent 
changes take place in the physiological properties and 
powers if not in the anatomical properties of the diges- 
tive organs. So that, while they retain the capability 
of continuing to sustain the body on milk, they are fitted 
to serve the general interests of the system better on 
more solid forms of aliment. 

§ 1303. On the whole then, as general rules for adult 
man: — those who are laboring under disease of any kind, 
and especially if the disease is of a serious character, 
and more particularly, if it is of an inflammatory nature, 
or one which all increased excitement of the system 
aggravates, had better abstain entirely from milk, — or at 


most, only use it in the quantity and manner which I shall 
point out, when I come to speak of the various modes 
of preparing vegetable food. (§ 1411.) The seden- 
tary, the studious and the delicate had better observe the 
same rule. Dyspeptics almost invariably find it oppres- 
sive to their stomachs, causing a sense of distention and 
heaviness. (§ 450.) It is possible however, that there 
may be particular cases, in which the invalid and the 
delicate and the sedentary may be benefited by a tem- 
porary use of a milk diet. This is a point to be decided 
by the intelligent physician who knows the symptoms 
and circumstances of the case; and by the careful obser- 
vation of the individual. Those who are healthy and 
active and athletic can do exceedingly well on a milk 
and vegetable diet; but, as a general rule, they can do 
still better, by abstaining from the use of milk and sub- 
sisting wholly on a diet of pure and well-chosen vege- 
table food and pure water, — and by vegetable food I 
mean to comprehend all fruits and farinaceous seeds and 
roots and other kinds of esculent vegetables proper for 
human aliment. 

§ 1304. Concerning the use of cows' milk as the food 
of children and youth, I shall speak more particularly in 
a subsequent lecture, when I come to treat of the diet and 
regimen proper for them. It is important to remark in 
this place however, that whether this kind of food be 
used for the nourishment of children or adults, the utmost 
care should be taken that it is of a good quality. — We 
have seen (§ 1274.) that whatever foreign substance is 
introduced by absorption into the vital domain of the ani- 
mal body is mingle'd more or less extensively with the 
blood: and in proportion to its deleteriousness or offen- 
siveness to the vital properties of the system, so is the ral- 
lying of the vital forces to expel it as soon as possible from 

396 graham's lectures on the 

the circulation and to eliminate it from the body. (§ 516.) 
In such emergencies nature avails herself of all the means 
in her power to effect the expulsion, and consequently, all 
those organs which secrete or excrete substances which 
are designed to pass from the body, are largely employed 
in the general work of depuration. Hence if the cow or 
the female of any species of mammiferous animals, receive 
any poisonous or foreign substance into the vital domain 
by absorption, during the period of lactation, the milk is 
almost immediately affected by it. And it has been as- 
certained by experiment, that if two cows — the one nurs- 
sing a calf and the other giving no milk, receive in their 
food a quantity of poison sufficient to cause death, the 
latter cow will be killed by it, while the calf of the 
former will be killed and the mother will escape. — In 
this way thousands of nursing infants have been distressed, 
— made sick, — thrown into convulsions and even killed 
by the poisonous substances voluntarily swallowed by 
their mothers and nurses; and in this way thousands of 
human beings have been made seriously sick, and many 
have been killed by the poisonous substances which cows 
have eaten. 

§ 1305. But the milk of cows is far more frequently 
rendered exceedingly impure and unwholesome than actu- 
ally poisonous. Every thing that affects the health of 
the cow correspondenlly affects the quality of her milk. 
— Impure and unwholesome food of every description, — 
improper confinement, impure air, filthy stables, and 
every thing else that by absorption or otherwise, affects 
her body unfavorably, inevitably deteriorates the milk and 
renders it unwholesome. — When cows are kept in dirty 
and ill-ventilated stables and the filth is suffered to remain 
upon their bodies, as is too generally the case during the 
winter, the milk always becomes highly charged with the 


odor and taste of the filth: and when besides all this, the 
cows are fed on the vile dregs of distilleries and other 
improper substances, their milk is any thing but whole- 
some, and can hardly fail to impair the health of those 
who use it freely as an article of diet. — Even too stimu- 
lating food however pure, such as the meal of Indian corn 
and other kinds of grain, necessarily renders the milk less 
suitable for human aliment and especially for the food of 
children. Such food is given to increase the quantity of 
the milk, and always renders that secretion somewhat 
more exciting and febrile in its tendency. 

§ 1306. The best milk therefore, can only be procured 
from perfectly healthy cows which during the season of 
grazing, run at large in the open field and crop their food 
from a pure soil, and during the winter, are fed on good 
hay; and if housed at all, kept in clean and well-ventilated 
stables, and every day thoroughly curried and cleaned, 
and supplied with pure water for drink, and suffered to 
take regular exercise in the open air. (§ 1296.) 

§ 1307. The cream of milk, though capable of being 
converted into butter, yet, when recent and sweet, is 
perfectly soluble in water, and mixes freely with the 
fluids of the mouth and stomach: and therefore, if it is 
free from any deleterious properties, (§ 1304. — 1306.) it 
is very far less objectionable than butter as an article of 
diet. It may be used instead of butter in a variety of 
ways; as I shall point out hereafter, — and without any 
sacrifice of gustatory enjoyment; but with decided bene- 
fit to health; — that is, if one or the other must be used. 
Nevertheless, as a general rule, the physiological inter- 
ests of our bodies, are better served without the use of 
either. — The butter spoken of in the Scriptures, in con- 
nexion with honey, &c, as an agreeable article of food, 
was probably rich, sweet cream. 

vol. ii. 34 

398 graham's lectures on the 

§ 1308. Eggs are somewhat more highly animalized 
than milk; and perhaps rather more exciting to the sys- 
tem. Yet when fresh and good, if taken raw or very 
slightly cooked by boiling or otherwise, without the use 
of fat or oily matter, they are not difficult of digestion; 
and are quite nourishing. But when they are so much 
cooked as to become hard or solid, they require a vig- 
orous stomach to digest them without oppression. All 
that I have said concerning milk, and those by whom it 
may be used as food, (§1300. — 1303.) I consider strictly 
applicable to eggs: but care should always be taken that 
they are not too old: and that their vitality is not in any 
measure impaired. 

§ 1309. In closing my remarks on this general topic, 
I deem it proper to repeat what I have said, (§868, 
869.) that, animal food of every kind, and particularly 
flesh-meat, when freely used, so affects the physiological 
powers of the digestive organs, that, they cannot chymify 
vegetable substances with the same ease and comfort, 
that they can when accustomed only to vegetable food. 
Hence, many kinds of fruits and vegetables, which a flesh- 
eater cannot partake of without more or less inconveni- 
ence, and which in certain seasons of the year, and 
during the prevalence of epidemics, are sure to make 
him sick, may be freely eaten with perfect comfort and 
safety by those who subsist wholly on vegetable food. 

§ 1310. The conclusion of the whole matter then, 
concerning animal food, is briefly this; as a general and 
permanent rule for the human species, in all situations, 
conditions and circumstances, where man can have his 
choice of aliment, — it is best that every one should wholly 
abstain from flesh-meat; — but if any will eat it for the 
gratification of depraved appetite, it should only be 
those who are healthy and vigorous and active, and 


much in the open air. And they should never allow 
themselves to indulge in the use of it more than once a 
day, and then in great moderation; and only prepared in 
the simple manner which I have described. (§ 1289.) 
All other kinds of food pertaining to the animal kingdom 
should as a general rule, be avoided by the diseased and 
the feeble and delicate. (§ 1262. Note.) In short, I am 
convinced that as a general and permanent rule, the whole 
human family would do best — after a certain period in 
very early life, to subsist entirely on the products of the 
vegetable kingdom and pure water. 

§ 1311. In regard to the use of salt and other seasonings 
in preparing the different kinds of animal and vegetable 
substances for human aliment, I shall speak fully in a 
subsequent lecture. 


What shall we eat? — The abundant supplies of the vegetable kingdom, 
and resources of the earth — General physiological laws in regard to 
preparing food, and the use of artificial means as aids to the vital powers 
— All artificial preparations of food, in themselves considered, are evil 
— General principles which should govern the artificial preparation of 
food, in relation to mastication, insalivation, deglutition, temperature, 
concentration, combination, quantity, &c. — Practical application of 
these principles — Primitive simplicity of food and manner of prepar- 
ing it The history of bread, and the kinds used by different portions 

of the human family — " Bread the staff of life" — Wheat the best ma- 
terial for loaf bread — Where and how raised and best prepared — 
Adulterations of bread — Coarse bread most wholesome — Properties 
of meal — Yeast — fermentation, &c. — Mixing, kneading and baking 
bread — Use of alkalies in bread-making — Alcohol in bread — How to 
keep bread sweet — Who should make bread — Bread-making the 

400 Graham's lectures on the 

highest art of cooking— Perfect bread-making the very top of culina- 
ry skill — Varieties of bread — Other less simple preparations from 
farinaceous substances — Cakes, &c. — Sweets and acids — All fats 
should be avoided — Cream and milk how used, if at all — Puddings, 
pies, &c. — Other vegetables, fruits, &c, how prepared and used 
— General conclusions in regard to the kinds, conditions, qualities, 
quantities and preparations of the food of man. 

§ 1312. Those who have accompanied me thus far 
along my course, are, by this time, perhaps, disposed 
to cry out, with the multitudes who only know what thiey 
have learned from rumor concerning my opinions, What 
will you leave us to subsist on ? — What shall we eat when 
all our customary food is taken away ? — when flesh and 
every thing pertaining to the animal kingdom is denied us? 

§ 1313. And has it come to this? — Is it indeed true 
that man is under the necessity of making his body a 
sepulchre for dead carcasses, in order to keep himself 
alive, and to preserve his civilization, and the elegant 
refinements and arts of civic life? — I do confess — and 
deeply regret that truth compels me to acknowledge that, 
in many portions of the civilized world, mankind have 
become so accustomed to depend on the products of the 
animal kingdom, for their principal articles of diet, that 
they have greatly neglected to develop and foster the 
capabilities of their more natural and proper source of 
aliment, and learned to think that starvation would be the 
inevitable consequence of an entire abandonment of ani- 
mal food. 

§ 1314. It is true that at the public tables of our 
steamboats and hotels, and in fact, all the fashionable 
tables in civic life, which almost literally groan beneath 
the multitudinous dead that lie in state upon them, embalm- 
ed and decorated like the bodies of Egyptian potentates 
prepared for solemn interment, — emitting their spicy 


odors to disguise their natural loathsomeness, — it is true, 
that, at one of these tables, loaded apparently with every 
luxury and savory dainty that the market can supply and 
culinary skill prepare, — if one sits down, determined to 
abstain from animal food, and the still more pernicious 
preparations of vegetable substances, he may look in vain 
throughout the wilderness of viands before him, for a 
single dish of plain and wholesome vegetable food, such 
as a wise man would willingly and freely partake of. He 
might order any form of aliment that the products of the 
animal kingdom can be tortured into, which happens not 
to be upon the table, and he would probably, be promptly 
and with alacrity supplied; — but if he calls for a simple 
dish of fruits or vegetables, his call will either be utterly 
neglected, or he will be answered in a surly tone — "We 
have not got them sir!" — and he may therefore either 
make his meal upon a crust of miserable bread, or conclude 
to fast entirely, and pay his dollar or half dollar for the 
refined and ennobling pleasure of seeing his more carniv- 
orous, and literally omnivorous fellow creatures glut them- 
selves, much after the same manner of the giant Poly- 
phemus when he feasted on the quivering bodies of the 
Greeks which he had dashed to pieces in his wrath, 
excited by the fierceness of his appetite for flesh. 

§ 1315. But is there a necessity for such a state of 
things? — Must it be so, that we must either deny our- 
selves every enjoyment of the table, or consent to become 
associated in our dietetic habits and character, with the 
hyena and the wolf and other beasts of prey? and with 
the vulture and the owl and bat, and other harpies of the 
winged kind? — Nature shudders and recoils, and answers 
— ' ' No ! " in the deepest tones of loathing and abhorrence ! 
— and points us to our beautiful mother earth, and asks us 
to contemplate her all-bountiful bosom; — and the still 

402 Graham's lectures on the 

greater capabilities of her soil, which, in the depths of our 
putrescent sensuality, we have too long and too ungrate- 
fully neglected and despised. — What! talk of starving, in 
the face of Heaven, when our benevolent Creator has 
spread for us so bountiful a table in the vegetable king- 
dom, of fruits and seeds and roots and other esculent 
substances innumerable; and which may be cultivated 
and multiplied in quantity and variety without bounds? — 
Why did not our first parents famish in Eden, when they 
kept the garden and fed on fruit? — Why have not the 
myriads of the human race who, from the earliest periods 
of the world even to the present hour, have subsisted on 
vegetable food, famished and left their portions of the 
earth depopulated? Indeed we do abuse our own nature 
and our God, when we suppose there is not in the prod- 
ucts of the vegetable kingdom and in the capabilities of 
the soil, a full supply of nourishment for man; and such 
as is best adapted to sustain the highest physiological and 
psychological interests of his nature; and to afford him 
the purest and richest and most wholesome enjoyments 
of sense. 

§ 1316. In regard to the preparations of vegetable 
food, when considered with reference to the very highest 
capabilities of human nature, it is unquestionably true 
that, in the climate most natural to man, (§ 1249.) his 
physiological interests would be best sustained by those 
vegetable products which require no culinary change, or 
cooking. (§770.) But as man migrates and becomes ac- 
climated in different portions of the earth, where he finds 
it necessary to subsist on different vegetable, or other 
substances, it is possible that he may also find it necessary 
to prepare some of those substances by fire or otherwise, 
in order to render them most compatible with his organ- 


ization, and his physiological properties and powers and 

§ 1317. It is a general physiological law of organized 
bodies, to which there is no exception, that, all artificial 
means to effect that which the living body has natural 
faculties and powers to accomplish, always and inevitably 
impair, and tend to destroy the physiological powers 
designed to perform the function or to produce the effect. 
Thus, as we have seen (§719.) every artificial means 
substituted for the natural and proper use of the teeth in 
mastication, inevitably injures those organs and always 
tends to destroy their power to perform the function for 
which they were intended. And thus, every artificial 
means employed for the regulation of the temperature of 
the body always and inevitably diminishes the natural 
power of the body to regulate its own temperature. 
(§ 500.) If our feet are cold — for instance — and we, 
by walking, dancing or other exercise of the lower limbs, 
increase, in a natural and healthy manner, the calorific 
function of the feet, and thus restore them to a comforta- 
ble temperature, we invigorate all the physiological pow- 
ers of the parts, compatibly with the general physiological 
interests of the body: — but if instead of this, we warm 
our feet by a fire, we necessarily weaken all the physio- 
logical powers of the parts, and consequently diminish 
the calorific function of the feet, or their natural power 
to generate animal heat and regulate their own temperature, 
and thereby render them more liable to suffer from cold. 
— AH this is true of every other member and part of the 
system: — and also, accurately illustrates the effects of all 
other artificial means, on the physiological powers of the 
body. (§418.) 

§ 1318. It may therefore, be laid down as a general 
law, that all processes of cooking, or artificial preparations 

404 graham's lectures on the 

of food by fire, are, in themselves, considered with ref- 
erence to the very highest and best condition of human 
nature, in some degree detrimental to the physiological 
and psychological interests of man. (§735.) Yet inas- 
much as man may be so situated as to be under the 
necessity of subsisting on substances which are less 
wholesome in their natural state than when properly pre- 
pared by fire, therefore, in such cases, the evil of the 
artificial preparation by the process of cooking, would 
be less than that which it would prevent; and con- 
sequently it would be a necessary evil; and in effect, a 
relative good. 

§ 1319. This view of the subject, presents the matter 
m a simple and true light, and clearly teaches us that, 
whatever may be the situation and circumstances and 
diet of man, cooking, or the artificial preparation of his 
food by fire, or otherwise, is always to be considered as 
a real and actual evil, except in so far as it is rendered 
indispensably necessary to his physiological interests, by 
the character of the substances on which he is compelled 
to subsist: — and when thus rendered necessary, it should 
always be governed by the laws of constitution and rela- 
tion established in his nature; (§ 693. — 767.) or in other 
words, the preparations should always be made — as far 
as possible — consistent with his organization and with his 
physiological properties and powers. 

§ 1320. If man were to subsist wholly on alimentary 
substances in their natural state, or without any artificial 
preparation by cooking, then he would be obliged to use 
his teeth freely in masticating his food, (§719.) and by 
so doing, not only preserve his teeth from decay, and 
keep them in sound health, (§723.) but at the same 
time, and by the same means, he would thoroughly mix 
his food with the solvent fluid of his mouth, (§ 426.) 


and thus prepare it, both for swallowing and for the 
action of the stomach; (§ 426.) and by the same means 
also, he would be made to swallow his food slowly, as 
the welfare of the stomach (§429.) and of the whole 
system requires he should.* (§ 727.) 

§ 1321. Again, if man were to subsist wholly on 
uncooked food, he would never suffer from the improper 
temperature of his aliment. (§ 500.) Hot substances 
taken into the mouth, serve more directly and powerfully 
to destroy the teeth, than any other cause which acts 
immediately upon them; (§ 724.) and hot food and 
drink, received into the stomach, always, in some degree, 
debilitate that organ, and through it, every other organ 
and portion of the whole system; diminishing, as an ulti- 
mate result, the vital power of every part, — impairing 
every function, and increasing the susceptibility of the 
whole body to the action of disturbing causes, and pre- 
disposing it to disease of every form. Moreover, the 
use of hot food and drink, always and inevitably dimin- 
ishes gustatory power and enjoyment. On this point 
the most egregious error of opinion prevails, wherever 
fire is employed in the preparation of human aliment. 
It is universally believed that a high temperature of food 
gives it a greater relish; but the contrary is true. Heat 
acts on the gustatory nerve, like other stimulants — always 
diminishing the power of that organ to perceive and 
appreciate the delicate qualities of alimentary substances, 

*On introducing food into the stomach of St. Martin, (§ 431. Note) 
through the artificial aperture, Dr. Beaumont found that the organ would 
not receive it rapidly even in the liquid state. " If a few spoonfuls of 
soup or other liquid diet, be put in, with a spoon, or funnel," says he, 
" the rugce quickly close upon it, and gradually diffuse it through the 
gastric cavity, entirely excluding more during this action. When a 
relaxation takes place another quantity will be received in the same 
manner." (§426.-429.) 

406 graham's lectures on the 

(§712.) and hence, they who never receive any thing 
into the mouth warmer than the blood, always — other 
things being equal — have the nicest gustatory perception, 
and the richest and most varied gustatory enjoyment of 
their food. This, every one may demonstrate for him- 
self by a fair experiment of three months' entire absti- 
nence from hot food and drink, and other hot substances. 
By a general abstinence from these things also, diseases 
of the throat, lungs, and indeed, of every part of the body, 
would be far less numerous and frequent than at present. 
In short, many and great benefits would result, without 
the sacrifice of a single good or real comfort, or the 
production of a single evil, from the total and universal 
abandonment of hot food and drinks: and however 
complicated and pernicious the artificial preparations of 
our aliment may in other respects be, there certainly is 
no necessity for its being received into the mouth and 
swallowed when it is hot, or even warm. 

§ 1322. Again, if man were to subsist entirely on 
food in a natural state, he would never suffer from con- 
centrated aliment. We have seen (§747. — 764.) that 
every substance in nature suitable for the food of man, 
consists of both nutritious and innutritious matter; — vary- 
ing in proportions, in different substances, from three 
or four per cent, of nutritious matter, up to ninety, or 
ninety-four per cent. (§900.) But nature, without the 
aid of human art, produces nothing for the alimentary 
use of man, which is purely a concentrated nutrient prin- 
ciple. And the human body, as we have seen, (§ 693. 
— 767.) is organized and endowed with precise and 
determinate reference to this state of things: and hence, 
as we have seen, (§ 761.) a due proportion of innutri- 
tious matter in our food, is as important to health, as 
nutritious matter is. — Human beings may subsist from 


childhood to old age, on a simple diet of potatoes and 
pure water, exclusively, and enjoy good and uninter- 
rupted health; and possess great muscular power and 
ability to endure protracted fatigue and exposure. But 
if the purely nutrient matter be separated out, by arti- 
ficial means, and human beings be fed exclusively on this 
concentrated form of aliment and pure water, they will 
soon perish; (§748.) — not because this matter contains 
no azote or nitrogen, nor because man necessarily requires 
a variety of alimentary substances, (§ 748.) but simply 
and exclusively because the anatomical construction and 
physiological powers of the alimentary organs of the 
human body, are constitutionally adapted to food which 
consists of both nutritious and innutritious matter.* 

§ 1323. Again, if man subsisted wholly on uncooked 
food, he would, not only be preserved from improper 
concentrations, but also from pernicious combinations of 
alimentary substances. We have seen (§ 862. — 868.) 
that the alimentary organs of man, like those of the horse, 
ox, sheep, dog, cat, and most, or all other animals of the 
higher orders, if not, in fact, of all other animals, without 
limitation, possess the physiological capability of so accom- 
modating themselves to emergencies, that, they can be 
made to digest almost every vegetable and animal sub- 
stance in nature, and they can by long training, be ed- 
ucated to digest a mixture of these substances at the same 
time. Nevertheless, it is incontrovertibly true that, the 
alimentary organs of man and of all other animals, can di- 
gest one kind of food at a time, better than a mixture of 

* " Bulk," says Dr. Beaumont, " is nearly as necessary to the 
articles of diet, as the nutrient principle. They should be so managed 
that one will be in proportion to the other. Too highly nutritive diet 
is probably, as fatal to the prolongation of life and health, as that which 
contains an insufficient quantity of nourishment." 

408 graham's lectures on the 

different kinds ; — for, it is impossible that the solvent fluids 
secreted by the stomach and other organs belonging to 
the alimentary apparatus, (§426. — 457.) should be, at 
the same time, equally well adapted to entirely different 
kinds of food. 

§ 1324. I do not say that the alimentary organs of 
man, cannot, by long habit, be brought into such a state 
as that, while that state remains, they will not digest a 
mixture of animal and vegetable food, with more imme- 
diate comfort and satisfaction to themselves and the indi- 
vidual, than they will vegetable food alone. But this 
does not militate in the least, against the general princi- 
ple which I have advanced, for, it is nevertheless true 
that the same organs are capable of being brought into a 
state in which they will digest a meal of unmixed food, 
of either kind, with less embarrassment and injury to 
themselves and to the whole system, than they can the 
mixed food in any state. Hence it is a general physiol- 
ogical law concerning the dietetic habits of man, that 
simplicity of food at each meal, is essential to the high- 
est well-being of the individual and of the race. 

§ 1325. God has unquestionably, provided a great and 
rich variety of substances for man's nourishment and en- 
joyment; but it is equally certain that he did not design 
that man should partake of all this variety at a single meal; 
nor in a single day; nor season; — but from meal to meal, 
— from day to day, and from season to season; — varying 
his enjoyment in strictest consistency with the great laws 
of his nature. And hence all artificial combinations of ali- 
mentary substances, — and particularly of a heterogeneous 
kind, — and yet more especially, the concentrated forms, 
(§ 760.) must be more or less pernicious to the alimen- 
tary organs, and, through them, to the whole system. 

§ 1326. Finally, if man subsisted wholly on uncooked 


food, the undepraved integrity of his appetite, (§ 767.) 
— his thorough mastication (§727.) and slow swallowing, 
and his simple meal, would greatly serve to prevent his 
over-eating, and thus save him from the mischievous 
effects of one of the most destructive causes operating 
in civic life. For excessive alimentation is induhitably, 
the cause of more disease and premature death in civil- 
ized man, than any thing else which affects his existence; 
and there is no other possible way by which the evil 
can be removed, consistent with the highest physiological 
interests of the human constitution, than by a stern sim- 
plicity of diet, — commenced in childhood and rigidly 
adhered to through life. 

§ 1327. In all our artificial preparations of food there- 
fore, these important principles or general rules should 
ever be kept in view, and an intelligent and reasonable and 
conscientious regard to them should always be entertain- 
ed and cherished; and particularly by woman, whose do- 
minion over these matters, as the wife and the mother, 
gives her immense power to act, either as the angel of 
mercy or of wo to the human race! — as the angel of 
mercy, if in the integrity of her soul, she leads the way 
in truth and holiness, and teaches those, on whom her 
moral influence is exerted, to follow her; — as the angel 
of wo, if she suffers sensual gratification to seduce her 
from the path of and becomes the minister of depraved 
appetite and indulgence. 

§ 1328. Whatever may be the kind of food on which 
man subsists, when the artificial preparation is made as 
far as possible in accordance with the physiological 
laws of constitution and relation established in his nature 
(§693. — 767.) and is of that simple character which 
leaves the proportions of nutritious and innutritious prop- 
erties as nature combined them, (§747.) or, in the gen- 

vol. ii. 35 

410 graham's lectures on the 

eral average, conforms in this respect to nature, — and 
effects little change in the nutritious principles, — and re- 
tains the natural requisition for the function of the teeth 
(§426.) and thus secures the proper chewing of the 
food, — and the mixing of it with the solvent fluid of the 
mouth, (§726.) and the swallowing of it slowly, (§727.) 
— the artificial process of preparation militates very little, 
if at all, against any of the physiological interests of 
the body. But if the preparation concentrates the nutri- 
ent properties, and destroys the due proportion between 
the bulk and nourishment; and effects improper changes 
and combinations in the nutrient elements, and does away 
the necessity for mastication; and presents the food in 
too elevated a temperature, and enables us to swallow it 
too rapidly with little or no exercise of the teeth, and 
without properly mixing it with the saliva, the artificial 
process or cooking is decidedly, and often exceedingly 
inimical, not only to the physiological interests of the 
alimentary organs, but of the whole human system. And 
let it ever be remembered that, as a general rule, the 
processes of cooking when regulated in the very best 
manner, cannot so perfectly adapt the substances which it 
is necessary to cook, to the physiological properties and 
powers of the human body, as to render them equally 
conducive to the highest and best condition of man, with 
those substances which are naturally adapted to his ali- 
mentary wants. (§1250.) And therefore, as already stat- 
ed, (§ 1318.) all processes of cooking, or artificial prep- 
arations of food by fire — considered in reference to the 
very highest capabilities of human nature — must be re- 
garded as in some measure an evil: and the grand desid- 
eratum is to ascertain how far the various circumstances 
in which man is placed, and the quality of the aliment 
on which he is obliged to subsist, render this evil neces- 


sary; — or to what extent the artificial preparation of food 
can be carried without causing a greater evil than it pre- 

§1329. In the application of these principles to the 
various situations and circumstances in which man may- 
be placed, we readily perceive that, the first great ques- 
tion is, — What are the substances necessarily entering 
into the diet of man, which require cooking, or any kind 
of artificial preparation, in order to render them most 
genial to the physiological interest of the human constitu- 
tion? — The second great question is, — What kind or 
manner of preparation of those substances, do the highest 
physiological interests of man require or admit of? — and 
the third question is, — To what extent, and in what man- 
ner may we artificially prepare other substances, which 
we choose to comprehend in our diet, without seriously 
infringing our physiological and psychological inter- 

§ 1330. To enter into these several inquiries with 
critical accuracy and complete detail, would not only re- 
quire a very great deal of time, but also an intimate and 
perfect knowledge of the alimentary character of all the 
substances which man, in all the varieties of situation and 
circumstances of the species, may find it necessary or 
convenient, or agreeable to eat. — It cannot therefore be 
expected that I shall, in this place, attempt it to any con- 
siderable extent. 

Bread — Bread- making. — The History of Bread, fyc. 

§ 1331. It is nearly certain, as I have already stated, 
(§ 782.) that the primitive inhabitants of the earth ate 
their food w T ith very little, if any artificial preparation. 
(§ 779.) The various fruits, nuts, seeds, roots and oth- 

412 graham's lectures on the 

er vegetable substances on which they subsisted, were 
eaten by them, in their natural state, with no other grind- 
ing than that which was done by the teeth. — As the hu- 
man family increased and population became more dense 
and extended, and providential measures more necessary, 
the condition and circumstances of society gradually led 
to the invention and adoption of the simple, and, at first, 
rude arts of domestic life. (§20.) Among these, was 
that of bruising the harder articles of their food, such as 
nuts and seeds, or. grain, on flat stones, selected and 
kept for the purpose. By constant use, these stones in 
time became hollowed out; and being thereby rendered 
more convenient, men at length began to form mortars 
and pestles from stones; and probably the next step was 
the construction of the rude kind of hand-mills, which 
continued in use for many centuries; and indeed, which, 
with the stone mortars, have, throughout all ages and in 
almost every portion of the earth, been used in the ruder 
states of society. 

§ 1332. When men became acquainted with the use 
of fire, they probably often parched their corn or grain 
before they pounded it; and afterwards, they learned to 
mix it with water into the consistency of dough, and to 
bake this, in an unleavened or unfermented state, on flat 
stones before the fire, or in the hot ashes or hot earth, 
or in the rude ovens which they formed, by digging holes 
in the earth, into which they put heated stones, and 
slightly covered them with leaves or grass, and then laid 
in the article they wished to bake, and over this strewed 
some leaves, and then covered the whole with earth.* 
This kind of unleavened bread, undoubtedly constituted 
a very important, if not the principal article of artificially 

* In this same manner the Sandwich Islanders cooked all their food , 
when they were first discovered. 


prepared food in the diet of the primitive inhabitants of 
the earth, for many centuries; and the same, or very 
nearly the same kind of bread continued in general use 
down to the days of Abraham; and it is probable that 
the unleavened bread used by his descendants at the feast 
of the Passover, before and after they left Egypt, was of 
the same kind. 

§ 1333. It is hardly possible, however, that it could 
have been otherwise, than that, at a much earlier period, 
larger quantities of this dough were occasionally made, 
than were immediately baked, and consequently portions 
of it were suffered to stand and ferment; and by this 
means, men were in process of time learned to make 
leavened, or raised bread. — At how early a date, loaf or 
raised bread came into common use, it is impossible now 
to ascertain with any considerable degree of precision. 
The scriptures do not afford us any evidence that Abra- 
ham was accustomed to such bread; but the fact that 
Moses, at the institution of the supper of the Passover, 
the night before the Jews left Egypt, commanded them 
strictly to abstain from leavened bread, and to eat only 
the unleavened, proves conclusively, that the Israelites 
at least, were then accustomed to fermented, or raised 

§ 1334. Neither history nor tradition enables us to 
speak with any degree of confidence in regard to the 
period at which other nations became acquainted with the 
art of bread-making; but from all that has come down to 
us from ancient times, we learn that the primitive gener- 
ations of every nation, subsisted on fruits and other prod- 
ucts of the vegetable kingdom, in their uncooked or 
natural state. (§779.) "The Greeks assert that they 
were taught the art of making bread by their god, Pan; 
and Pliny informs us that this art was not known at Rome 

414 graham's lectures on the 

till near six hundred years after the foundation of that 
city. The Roman armies, he says, on their return from 
Macedonia, brought Grecian bakers into Italy. Before 
this time, the Romans prepared their meal in a kind of 
pap or soft pudding; and on this account Pliny calls them 
pap eaters." 

§ 1335. But though the Egyptians and Israelites were 
probably among the earliest portions of the human fami- 
ly who became acquainted with the art of making loaf 
or raised bread, the quality of their bread continued to 
be exceedingly simple and coarse, for many generations. 
Even after the establishment of the Hebrew nation in 
Palestine — in the most splendid days of Jerusalem — at 
the period of the highest refinement of the Jews in the 
arts of civil and domestic life, their fine flour, from 
which their choicest bread and cakes were made, was, 
in comparison with modern superfine flour, extremely 
coarse, — ground mostly by females, in hand-mills con- 
structed and kept for that purpose. 

§ 1336. From Rome the art of bread-making very 
slowly found its way over considerable portions of Eu- 
rope. A thousand years after Julius Caesar first entered 
Britian, the rude people of that country were little ac- 
quainted with raised bread. "Even at present," says 
Professor Thomson, "loaf bread is seldom used except 
by the higher classes of inhabitants, in the northern coun- 
tries of Europe and Asia." 

§ 1337. In Eastern and Southern Asia, rice princi- 
pally constitutes the bread of the inhabitants, and this is 
generally prepared with great simplicity. In Middle and 
Western Asia, and in Africa, bread, though consisting 
of different kinds of grain, is prepared with almost equal 
simplicity. In Scotland, Ireland, and indeed throughout 
Europe generally, the bread of most of the laboring peo- 


pie, or peasantry, consists of barley, oats, rye, potatoes, 
peas, beans, chestnuts, and other farinaceous vegetables. 
In the islands of the Pacific and Southern oceans, the 
bread of the inhabitants consists of the plantain, bananas, 
yams, bread-fruit, and other like vegetables, simply 
roasted, baked, or boiled. 

§ 1338. Bread, in the most extended sense of the 
word,* therefore, — of some kind or other, — made of 
some of the farinaceous products of the vegetable king- 
dom, has probably, in almost every portion of the world, 
and every period of time, been one of the first, and most 
important, and universal articles of food, artificially pre- 
pared by cooking, which has entered into the diet of 
mankind; and hence it has with great propriety been 
called "the staff of life." 

§ 1339. If we contemplate the human constitution in 
its highest and best condition, — in the possession of its 
most vigorous and unimpaired powers, — and ask, What 
must be the character of our bread in order to preserve 
that constitution in that condition? the answer most indu- 
bitably is, that the coarse unleavened bread of early 
times, when of proper age, was one of the least removes 
from the natural state of food, — one of the simplest and 

* In the English version of the sacred scriptures, the term bread is 
frequently used to signify vegetable food in general. Thus in Gen. 
iii. 19. the Lord says to Adam — " In the sweat of thy face shalt thou 
eat bread (or food) till thou return to the ground." See also Gen. 
xviii. 5. and xxviii. 20. and Ex. ii. 20. The most extended sense of 
the word, however, according to general usage, comprehends all fari- 
naceous vegetable substances included in the diet of man; such as the 
farinaceous seeds or grain, nuts, fruit, roots, &c. And in this extend- 
ed sense, bread, in some form or other, has been the principal article 
in the diet of mankind, from the earliest generations of the human race, 
to the present time; except among the few, small and scattered tribes, 
which have, perhaps, ever since the days of Noah, in different parts of 
the earth, subsisted mainly on animal food. 

416 graham's lectures on the 

most wholesome forms of artificial preparations, and best 
adapted to fulfil the laws of constitution and relation; 
(§ 1320. et. seq.) and therefore, best adapted to sustain the 
most vigorous and healthy state of the alimentary organs, and 
the highest and best condition of the whole nature of man, 
as a general and permanent fact; and hence, it is very 
questionable whether loaf or raised bread can be made 
equally conducive to all the interests of our nature, with 
the simple unleavened bread. I am aware that many 
professional men entertain a very different opinion on this 
subject, and speak of unleavened bread as being less 
nourishing and less easily digested. This may be true 
to a limited extent, in special cases of impaired and de- 
bilitated alimentary organs; but I am confident that as a 
general fact, the notion is entirely erroneous. 

§ 1340. " The whole people of Asia," says Dr. Cul- 
len, "live upon unfermented rice. The Americans, 
before they became acquainted with the Europeans, em- 
ployed, and for the most part, still employ their maize in 
the same condition. Even in Europe, the employment 
of unfermented bread, and unfermented farinaceae in other 
forms, is still very considerable, and we are ready to 
maintain that the morbid consequences of such a diet are 
very seldom to be observed. In Scotland, nine tenths 
of the lower classes of people — and that is the greater 
part of the whole — live upon unfermented bread and un- 
fermented farinaceae in other forms, and at the same time, 
I am of opinion that there are not a more healthy people 
anywhere to be found. We give it to all classes and 
both sexes with advantage." 

§ 1341. It is incontestibly true, that if two portions 
of the same kind of wheat-meal be taken and made, the 
one into unleavened and the other into leavened bread, 
and both be eaten warm from the oven, the leavened 


bread will prove much more oppressive and difficult to 
digest in the stomach than the unleavened. But aside 
from the changes that are produced by the process of 
fermentation, there are many other considerations why 
unleavened bread of a proper quality and age, is better 
adapted to sustain the alimentary organs and general con- 
stitution of man in their highest and best condition. Nev- 
ertheless, it is very certain, that loaf or raised bread can 
be made so nearly in accordance with the vital laws and 
interests of our bodies, as scarcely to militate against 
them in any perceptible or appreciable degree. And 
when I say this, I mean not merely its effects on the 
health and longevity of a single individual, but its effects 
upon the human constitution, through successive genera- 
tions, for a thousand years or more. 

The best Material for Loaf Bread — how prepared, fyc 

§ 1342. Among the materials used for making raised 
bread in our country — and, in fact, of all the known pro- 
ductions of the vegetable kingdom in any country, wheat 
is decidedly the best; and it is a remarkable fact, that 
wheat comes nearer to man than perhaps any other plant, 
in its power of becoming adapted to different climates, 
over a wide extent of the earth's surface, so that it may 
almost be said that wherever the'human species can flour- 
ish, there wheat can be cultivated. 

§ 1343. " It is not certainly known," says Professor 
Thomson, "in what country wheat was first produced. 
Mr. Bruce informs us that he found it growing wild in 
Abyssinia; and in his opinion, that kingdom is the native 
country of the plant. It would seem," continues the 
Professor, " to be originally an African plant, since it 
thrives best in Barbary and Egypt; and perhaps the 

418 graham's lectures on the 

mountains of Abyssinia, though within the torrid zone, 
may not differ much in point of climate, from the more 
northern plains of Egypt. Wheat is perhaps cultivated 
over a greater extent of the globe than any other plant. 
Excellent crops are raised as far north as Sweden, in lati- 
tude 60 degrees; it is cultivated in the East Indies, 
considerably within the limits of the torrid zone; and in 
the north of Hindostan, it constitutes a chief article in 
the food of the inhabitants. In India, however, the plant 
seems to have deteriorated. It is always dwarfish, and 
the crop is said to be less abundant than in more northern 
climates." Yet a cold climate is not most genial to the 
nature of this plant. " The wheat of France is superior 
to that of England; the wheat of Italy is still better than 
that of France; and perhaps the best of all is raised in 
Barbary and Egypt." — Excellent wheat is raised in the 
southern and western and middle portions of the United 
States; and even in the northern and eastern parts of 
New England, very fine crops have been produced. 

§ 1344. But the wheat and other cultivated products 
of the vegetable kingdom appropriated to the nourishment 
of man, like those on which our domestic animals subsist, 
(§ 1270.) are too generally, in civilized life, very consid- 
erably deteriorated, as to their wholesomeness, by the im- 
proper tillage of the soil. I have no doubt that it is true, 
as stated by those who have made the experiment, that 
the flour of wheat, raised on a cultivated soil recently 
dressed with crude, stable manure, may readily be dis- 
tinguished by its odor, from the flour of wheat raised 
on a new and undepraved soil, or from that raised on a 
cultivated soil which has been dressed with properly di- 
gested manure. And if such and similar results of im- 
proper tillage can become the sources of serious evil to 
the human family, through their effects on the flesh of 


animals which man devours, and on the milk and butter 
which he consumes, (§ 1304. ct. seq.) surely the im- 
mediate effects of such a deteriorated vegetable aliment 
on the human system, must be very considerable. 

§ 1345. They who have never eaten bread made 
of wheat, recently produced by a pure virgin soil, have 
but a very imperfect notion of the deliciousness of good 
bread, such as is often to be met with in the comfortable 
log houses in our western country. It is probably true 
that the new soil, in its virgin purity, before it becomes 
exhausted by tillage, and debauched by the means which 
man uses to enrich and stimulate it, produces most, if 
not all kinds of vegetables appropriate for human aliment, 
in a more perfect and healthy state, than any soil which 
has been long under cultivation, can be made to do. 
Nevertheless, by a proper application of physiological 
principles to agriculture, many of the evils which now 
result from improper tillage may easily be avoided, and 
the quality of all those vegetable substances which enter 
into the diet of man may be very greatly improved, both 
in regard to wholesomeness and deliciousness. But while 
the people of our country are so entirely given up as 
they are at present, to gross and promiscuous feeding on 
the dead carcasses of animals, and to the untiring pursuits 
of wealth, it is perhaps wholly in vain for a single indi- 
vidual to raise his voice on a subject of this kind. The 
farmer will continue to be most eager to increase the 
number of his acres, and to extort from those acres the 
greatest amount of produce, with the least expense of 
tillage, and with little or no regard to the quality of that 
produce in relation to the physiological interests of man, 
while the people generally, are contented to gratify their 
depraved appetites on whatever comes before them, 
without pausing to inquire whether their indulgences are 

420 graham's lectures on the 

adapted to preserve or to destroy their health and life. 
Yet if some one does not raise a voice upon this subject, 
which shall be heard and heeded, there will soon reach 
us, as a nation, a voice of calamity which we shall not be 
able to shut our ears against, albeit we may in the per- 
verseness of our sensualism, incorrigibly persist in disre- 
garding its admonitions, till the deep chastisements of 
outraged nature shall reach the very " bone and marrow" 
of the human constitution, and fill our land with such a 
living rottenness, as now in some other portions of the 
earth, renders human society odious and abominable. 
Whether, therefore, my voice shall be heard and heeded 
or not, I will obey the dictates of my sense of duty, and 
solemnly declare that this subject demands the prompt 
and earnest attention of every agriculturist and of every 
friend to the common cause of huirranity; for it is most 
certain, that until the agriculture of our country is con- 
ducted in strict accordance with physiological truth, it 
is not possible for us to realize those physical, and intel- 
lectual, and moral, and social, and civil blessings for 
which the human constitution and our soil and climate 
are naturally capacitated. 

§ 1346. Sometimes, in consequence of the peculiari- 
ties of the season, or climate, or soil, or some other 
cause, there will be a species of disease affecting the 
wheat and other grains: and this maybe of such a char- 
acter as not easily to be removed nor counteracted by 
any means; but more generally the rust, and smut, and 
dust, which attach themselves to the skin of the grain, 
may, by proper care, be so far removed, as at least to 
render the meal or flour far more pure and wholesome than 
it otherwise would be. And here let me remark, that they 
are greatly deceived, who suppose that the bolting cloth 
which separates the fine flour from the outer skin or bran, 


also separates the impurities attached to the outer skin 
from the flour. By the process of grinding, these 
impurities are rubbed from the outer skin, and made 
quite as fine as any portion of the flour, and for the most 
part, pass with the fine flour through the bolting-cloth. 
To remedy this, it is perhaps generally true, that in large 
flouring establishments, a kind of smut or scouring-mill 
is in operation, through which the wheat passes, and is 
pretty thoroughly rubbed or scoured without being broken; 
and after this, it passes through a screen or winnowing 
mill, and thus is tolerably well cleansed and prepared for 
grinding. Yet this process by no means renders the 
wheat so perfectly clean and wholesome as washing. 

§ 1347. Those who have given little attention to this 
subject, will probably think that the trouble of washing 
all their bread-stuff before it is ground, would be much 
greater than any benefit which would result from it. But 
a short experience in the matter, would convince every 
one who has a proper regard for the character of his 
bread, that the trouble of washing his grain bears no 
comparison to the improvement effected by it. Indeed, 
they who become accustomed to washing their grain, 
will soon cease to regard it as a trouble; and the improve- 
ment in the whiteness and sweetness of their bread will 
be so great, that they would be extremely unwilling to 
relinquish the practice. 

§ 1 348. When people are so situated that they can have 
things as they wish, they wilt also find that their bread is 
much richer, if the grain is ground but a short time before it 
is cooked. The best way, therefore, is, for every family 
to raise or purchase a sufficient quantity of the best new 
wheat that can be produced by proper tillage in a good 
soil, and put that away in clean casks or bins, where it 
will be kept perfectly dry and sweet; and, according to 

vol. ii. 36 

422 graham's lectures on the 

the size of the family, take, from time to time, as they 
need it, one or two bushels, and wash it thoroughly hut 
briskly in two or three waters, and then spread it out on 
a drying sheet or table, made for the purpose, and which 
is considerably inclined, so that the water remaining with 
the wheat will easily run off. — The skin or bran of the 
wheat is so well protected by its own oily property, that 
little or no water will penetrate it, unless it be suffered 
to remain in the water much longer than is necessary. 
Being thinly spread out upon the sheet or table in a good 
drying day, it will be sufficiently dry in a few hours for 
grinding. And I say again, let any one who loves good 
bread, wash his grain a few times in this manner, and he 
will be very reluctant to return to the use of bread made 
of unwashed grain. 

§ 1349. It would be difficult to ascertain at how early 
a period in the progress of society, mankind, in the prep- 
aration of wheat for bread-making, began to put asunder 
what God has joined together, and to concentrate the 
more purely nutrient properties, by separating the flour 
from the part commonly called the bran. The Bible 
speaks of fine flour or meal, as a portion of the meat- 
offerings of the temple, but it is not probable this ap- 
proached very near to the superfine flour of the present 
time. We are informed also that the Romans, more 
than two thousand years ago, had four or five different 
kinds of bread — one of which was made of the purest 
flour, from which all the bran was separated. This was 
eaten only by the rich and luxurious. A second kind, 
in more common use, was that from which a portion of 
the bran was taken: and a third kind, which was more 
generally used than any other, was that which was made 
of the whole substance of the wheat. A fourth kind was 
made mostly of the bran, for dogs. But at whatever 


period in the history of the race, this artificial process 
was commenced, certain it is, that, in direct violation of 
the laws of constitution and relation, which the Creator 
has established in the nature of man, (§ 1322.) this pro- 
cess of mechanical analysis is, at the present day, carried 
to the full extent of possibility; and the farina and glu- 
ten and saccharine matter of the wheat, are almost per- 
fectly concentrated in the form of superfine flour. Nor 
is this all — these concentrated nutrient properties of the 
wheat are mixed and complicated in ways innumerable, 
with other concentrated substances, to pamper the deprav- 
ed appetites of man, with kinds of food which always and 
inevitably tend to impair his health and to abbreviate his 
life. (§1323.) — Even the bread, which is the simplest form 
into which human ingenuity tortures the flour of wheat, 
is, by other causes besides the concentration I have 
named, too frequently rendered the instrument of disease 
and death, rather than the means of life and health, to 
those that eat it. 

§ 1350. In cities and large towns, most people depend 
on public bakers for their bread. And I have no doubt 
that public bakers, as a body, are as honest and worthy 
a class of men as any in society. I have no wish to 
speak evil of any one; and it is always painful to me to 
find myself compelled, in fidelity to the common cause 
of humanity, to expose the faults of any particular class 
of men, when probably every other class in society is as 
deeply involved in errors which, in the sight of God, 
evince, at least, an equal degree of moral turpitude. But 
public bakers, like other men, who serve the public more 
for the sake of securing their own emolument than for 
the public good, have always had recourse to various ex- 
pedients in order to increase the lucrativeness of their 
business. To secure custom and profit at the same time, 

424 graham's lectures on the 

they have considered it necessary, that a given quantity 
of flour should be made into a loaf as large and as white 
as possible, and free from any disagreeable taste, while 
at the same time it retains the greatest possible weight. 

§ 1351. From a variety of causes, the quality and price 
of flour have always been very unstable. Sometimes 
the crops are small, or the foreign demand for flour, or 
the home consumption is unusually great, or the season is 
unfavorable to the health of grain, and the wheat becomes 
diseased, or the harvest time is unfavorable and the wheat 
sprouts before it is secured, or large quantities of flour 
become soured or musty, or in some other manner dam- 
aged. — To counteract these things, and to make the most 
profitable use of such flour as the market affords them, 
the public bakers have been led to try various experi- 
ments with chemical agents, and there is reason to believe 
that in numerous instances, they have been too success- 
ful in their practices, for the well-being of those who 
have been the consumers of their bread. 

§ 1352. According to treatises on bread-making, which 
have within a few years past, appeared in European scien- 
tific journals, "alum, sulphate of zinc, sub-carbonate of 
magnesia, sub-corbonate of ammonia, sulphate of copper, 
and several other substances, have been used by public bak- 
ers in making bread; and some of these substances have 
been employed by them to a very great extent, and with 
very great success in the cause of their cupidity. They have 
not only succeeded by such means, in making light and 
white bread out of extremely poor flour, but they have also, 
been able so to disguise their adulterations, as to work 
in with their flour, without being detected by the consu- 
mers, a portion of the flour of beans, peas and potatoes: 
— and even chalk, pipe clay and plaster of Paris, have 
been employed to increase the weight and whiteness of 


their bread." " The use of alum in bread-making," 
says a distinguished chemist, "appears to be very an- 
cient. It is one of those articles which have been the most 
extensively and successfully used in disguising bad flour, 
and the various adulterations of bread. Its injurious 
action upon the health is not to be compared with that of 
sulphate of copper, and yet, daily taken into the stomach, 
it may seriously affect the system." 

§ 1353. " Thirteen bakers were condemned on the 
27th of January, 1829, by the correctional tribunal of 
Brussels, for mixing sulphate of copper or blue vitriol 
with their bread. It makes the bread very white, light, 
large and porous, but rather tasteless; and it also enables 
the bread to retain a greater quantity of water, and there- 
by very considerably increases its weight. A much 
larger quantity of alum is necessary to produce these 
effects; but when of sufficient quantity, it strengthens 
the paste, and, as the bakers say, 'makes the bread swell 
large.' " — If the statements of our large druggists can 
be relied on, the public bakers of our own country prob- 
ably employ ammonia more freely, at present, than any 
other substance I have named. Pearlash or saleratus is 
also used by them in considerable quantities. 

§ 1354. But even where these adulterations are not 
practised, the bakers' bread is very rarely a wholsome 
article of diet. — If any dependence is to be placed on 
the testimony .of several of the principal bakers and flour 
merchants in New York, Boston and other cities, the 
flour which most of our public bakers work into bread, 
is of a very inferior quality to what is called good "family 
flour," and for which they pay from one to three dollars 
less per barrel; and they sometimes purchase large quan- 
tites of old spoiled flour from New Orleans and elsewhere, 
which has heated and soured in the barrel, and perhaps 

426 graham's lectures on the 

become almost as solid as a mass of chalk; so that they 
are obliged to break it up, and grind it over, and spread 
it out, and expose it to the air, in order to purify it in a 
measure from its acid and other bad properties: and then 
they mix it with a portion of much better flour; and from 
this mixture they can make, as they say, the very largest 
and finest looking loaf.* But should the public bakers 
always use the best of flour, their bread, as a general 
statement, would still be very inferior to well made do- 
mestic bread, in point of sweetness and wholesomeness. 
Their mode of manufacturing bread — to say the least of 
it — destroys much of the virtue of the flour or meal; and 
hence their bread is only palatable — even to those who 
are accustomed to it — within twelve, or at the longest, 
twenty-four hours after it is baked. 

Bread made of Unbolted Meal, most wholesome. 

§ 1355. Whether our bread is of domestic manufac- 
ture or made by the public baker, that which is made 
of superfine flour is always far less wholesome, in any 
and every situation of life, than that which is made of 
wheaten meal which contains all the natural properties of 
the grain. (§ 754. — 761.) It is true, that when much flesh 
is eaten with our bread, or when bread constitutes but a 
very small and unimportant portion of our food, the inju- 
rious effects of superfine flour bread are ^iot always so 
immediately and distinctly perceived as in other cases. 

* An aged and very respectable member of the Society of Friends, in 
New York, who had long been extensively engaged in the flour business 
in that city, and who had always had his family bread made in his own 
house, was one day asked by his daughter, why he never used the 
bakers' bread: — " Because, my child," replied he, " I know what it is 
made of." 


Nevertheless, it is a general and invariable law of our na- 
ture, that all concentrated forms of food are unfriendly to 
the physiological or vital interests of our bodies. (§ 749.) 
We have seen (§ 520.) that a very large proportion of 
all the diseases and ailments in civic life, are originated 
by causes which are introduced into the alimentary canal 
as articles of diet; and disturbance and derangement of 
function, — obstructions, debility and irritations, are among 
the most important elements of those diseases. And it is, 
probably speaking within bounds, to say that nine tenths 
of the adults, and nearly as large a proportion of youth 
in civic life, are more or less afflicted with obstructions 
and disturbances in the stomach and bowels and other 
organs of the abdomen, the symptoms of which are either 
habitual costiveness or diarrhoea, or an alternation of both; 
or frequent and severe attacks of what are called bilious 
colics, &c. &c, and in children and youth, worms, fits, 
convulsions, &c. And I cannot but feel confident, that 
the use of superfine flour bread is among the important 
causes of these and numerous other difficulties. I have 
indeed, been surprised to observe that, in the hundreds of 
cases of chronic diseases of every form and name, which 
have come to my knowledge within the last six or eight 
years, costiveness of the bowels has in almost every in- 
stance been among the first and most important symptoms. 
And I have never known this difficulty, even after an 
obstinate continuance of five, ten, twenty or thirty years, 
fail to disappear in a short time, after the coarse wheaten 
bread of a proper character has been substituted for that 
made of superfine flour. 

§ 1356. Some physicians and other individuals, with- 
out properly examining the subject, have raised several 
objections against the coarse wheaten bread. It is said, 
in the first place, that bran is wholly indigestible, and 

428 graham's lectures on the 

therefore, should never be taken into the human stomach. 
— This objection betrays so much ignoranc eof the final 
causes and constitutional laws, clearly indicated by the 
anatomical structure and physiological economy of the 
alimentary organs, that it scarcely deserves the slightest 
notice. (§ 438.) If the digestive organs of man were 
designed to receive nothing but digestible and nutrient 
substances, -they would have been constructed and 
arranged very differently from what they are. As we 
have fully seen, (§747.) every thing which nature pro- 
vides for our sustenance, consists of certain proportions 
of nutritious and innutritious matter: and a due propor- 
tion of innutritious matter in our food is as essential to the 
health and functional integrity of our alimentary organs, 
as a due proportion of nutritious matter is to the suste- 
nance of the body. (§ 1322.) 

§ 1357. Another objection is, that, although bran may 
serve, like other mechanical irritants and excitants, for 
a while, to relieve constipation, yet it soon wears out the 
excitability of the organs, and leaves them more inactive 
than before. — Here again, a false statement is urged by 
inexcusable ignorance; for it is not true that the bran acts 
in the manner supposed in this objection; nor are the 
effects here asserted ever produced by it. It is true, 
however, that the very pernicious habits of some people, 
who use the coarse wheaten bread, entirely counteract 
the aperient effects of the bread ; and it is true that oth- 
ers, depending wholly on the virtues of this bread for 
peristaltic action, and neglecting all exercise, by their 
extreme inertness, and indolence, and over-eating, bring 
on a sluggishness and debility and constipation of the 
bowels, and perhaps become severely afflicted with piles, 
in spite of the natural fitness of the bread to promote 
regular peristaltic action, and to prevent all these results. 

§ 1358. A third objection is, that, though the coarse 


wheaten bread may do veryjwell for those who are troubled 
with constipation, by mechanically irritating and exciting 
the stomach and bowels, yet for that very reason it is 
wholly unfit and improper for those who are afflicted with 
chronic diarrhoea, — Here is still another objection founded 
in ignorance of the true physiological and pathological 
principles which it involves. The truth is that, the 
coarse wheaten bread, under a proper general regimen, 
is as excellent and sure a remedy for chronic diarrhoea 
as for chronic constipation. I have seen cases of chronic 
diarrhoea of the most obstinate character, and which had 
baffled the highest medical skill and every mode of 
treatment for more than twenty years, yielding entirely, 
under a proper general regimen, in which this bread was 
the almost exclusive article of food, and not a particle of 
medicine was used. And, excepting in cases where the 
complaint was symptomatic of some incurable organic 
disease,* I have never known such a mode of treatment 
to fail of wholly relieving diarrhoea, whether recent or 
chronic, although a very great number of cases have 
come under my notice. 

§ 1359. It is fully evident therefore, that the bran 
does not act on the digestive organs as a mere mechanical 
irritant; for if it did, it would always necessarily aggravate, 
rather than alleviate diarrhoea. Nor does it relieve 
diarrhoea oq the principle of a narcotic nor of a stimulant; 
for the effect of these is always to give an immediate 
check to that complaint; and in such a manner as to 
expose the system to a return of it. But the coarse wheat- 
en bread seems to increase the disease foi a short time, 
at first, and then gradually restores the healthy condition 
and action of the bowels. The mucilage of wheat bran 

* Even in cases of this kind the distressing symptoms are always 
mitigated by the use of the coarse wheaten bread. 

430 graham's lectures on the 

is probably one of the most soothing substances in the 
vegetable kingdom, that can be applied to the mucous 
membrane of the stomach and bowels. 

§ 1360. Chronic constipation and chronic diarrhoea, 
both spring from the same root. Where the constitu- 
tional vigor of the alimentary canal is very considerable, 
continued irritations, resulting in debility, will produce 
constipation; and these continued causes operating for 
some time, will often induce such a state of debility and 
irritability as is attended with diarrhoea: — and in other 
cases, when this constitutional vigor of the alimentary 
canal is much less, diarrhoea is far more readily induced, 
and rendered chronic. 

§ 1361. Coarse wheaten bread then, by its adaptation 
to the anatomical structure and to the physiological pro- 
perties and functional powers of our organs, (§ 1322.) 
serves to prevent and to remove the disorders and diseases 
of our bodies, only by preventing and removing irrita- 
tion and morbid action and condition, and thereby afford- 
ing the system an opportunity of recovering its healthy 
and vigorous action and condition. And the thousands 
of individuals in our own country of every age — of both 
sexes — of all situations, conditions and circumstances, 
who within the last eight years have been benefited by 
using the coarse wheaten bread, instead of that made of 
superfine flour, are living witnesses of the virtues of that 

§ 1362. But the testimony in favor of coarse wheaten 
bread as an important article in the food of man, is by 
no means limited to our own country nor to modern 
times. In all probability, as we have already seen, 
(§ 1332.) the first generations of our species, who 
became acquainted with the art of making bread, con- 
tinued for many centuries to employ all the substance of 


the grain, which they coarsely mashed in their rude mor- 
tars or mills. And even since mankind began, by arti- 
ficial means, to separate the bran from the flour, and to 
make bread from the latter, the more close and discern- 
ing observers among physicians and philanthropists, have 
perceived and asserted, that bread made of fine flour is 
decidedly less wholesome than that made of the unbolted 
wheat meal. — Hippocrates, styled the father of medicine, 
who flourished more than two thousand years ago, and 
who depended far more on a correct diet and general 
regimen, both for the prevention and removal of disease, 
than he did on medicine, particularly commended the 
unbolted wheat-meal bread, " for its salutary effects upon 
the bowels." It was a fact well understood by the 
ancients, that this bread was much more conducive to 
the general health and vigor of their bodies, and every 
way better adapted to nourish and sustain them than that 
made of the fine flour. And accordingly, their wrestlers 
and others who were trained for great bodily power, 
" ate only the coarse wheaten bread, to preserve them 
in their strength of limbs." The Spartans were famous 
for this kind of bread; and we learn from Pliny that the 
Romans, as a nation, at that period of their history when 
they were the most remarkable for bodily vigor and per- 
sonal prowess and achievement, knew no other bread for 
three hundred years. The warlike and powerful nations 
which overran the Roman Empire, and finally spread 
over the greater part of Europe, used no other kind of 
bread than that vvliich was made of the whole substance 
of the grain; and from the fall of the Roman Empire to 
the present day, a large proportion of the inhabitants of 
all Europe and the greater part of Asia, have rarely used 
any other kind of bread. 

§ 13G3. " If you set any value on health, and have a 

432 Graham's lectures on the 

mind to preserve nature," — said Thomas Tryon, student 
in physic, in his " Way to Health, Long Life and Hap- 
piness," published in London, in the latter part of the 
fifteenth century, — " you must not separate the finest 
from the coarsest flour: because that which is fine is 
naturally of an obstructive and stopping quality; but, on 
the contrary, the other, which is coarse, is of a cleansing 
and opening nature, therefore the bread is best which is 
made of both together. It is more wholesome, easier of 
digestion, and more strengthening than bread made of the 
finest flour. It must be confessed, that the nutrimentive 
quality is contained in the fine flour; yet, in the branny 
part is contained the opening and digestive quality; and 
there is as great a necessity for the one as the other, for 
the support of health: that which is accounted the worst 
is as good and beneficial to nature as the best; for when 
the finest flour is separated from the coarsest and branny 
parts, neither the one nor the other has the true opera- 
tions of the wheat meal. The eating of fine bread, 
therefore, is inimical to health, and contrary both to 
nature and reason, and was at first invented to gratify 
wanton and luxurious persons, who are ignorant both of 
themselves, and the true virtue and efficacy of natural 
things." — " Baron Steuben has often told me," says 
Judge Peters, " that the peculiar healthfulness of the 
Prussian soldiers, was in a great measure to be attributed 
to their ammunition bread, made of grain, triturated or 
ground, but not bolted; which was accounted the most 
wholesome and nutritious part of their rations." — " The 
Dutch sailojrs, in the days of their naval glory, were 
supplied with the same kind of bread." 

§ 1364. " During the war between England and 
France, near the close of the last century," says Mr. 
Samuel Prior, a respectable merchant of Salem, New 


Jersey — " the crops of grain, and particularly wheat, 
were very small in England, and the supplies from 
Dantzic, the Netherlands, and Sweden being cut off by 
the French army, and also, the usual supplies from Amer- 
ica failing, there was a very great scarcity of wheat in Eng- 
land. The British army was then very extensive, and 
it was exceedingly difficult to procure provisions for it, 
both at home' and abroad — on land and sea. Such was 
the demand for the foreign army, and such the deficiency 
of crops at home and supplies from abroad, that serious 
fears were entertained that the army would suffer, and 
that the continental enterprise of the British government 
would be defeated in consequence of the scarcity of 
provisions; and every prudential measure by which such 
a disastrous event could be prevented, was carefully 
considered and proposed. William Pitt was then prime 
minister of state, and at his instance, government recom- 
mended to the people generally throughout Great Britain, 
to substitute potatoes and rice as far as possible, for 
bread, in order to save the wheat for the foreign army. 
This recommendation was promptly complied with by 
many of the people. But still the scarcity was alarm- 
ingly great. In this emsrgency, parliament passed a 
law (to take effect for two years) that the army at home 
should be supplied with bread made of unbolted wheat 
moal, solely for the purpose of making the wheat go as 
far as possible, and thus saving as much as they could 
from the home consumption, for the better supply of the 
army on the continent. Eighty thousand men were 
quartered in barracks in the counties of Essex and Suf- 
folk. A great many were also quartered throughout the 
towns, at taverns, in squads of thirty or forty in a place. 
Throughout the whole of Great Britain, the soldiers 
were supplied with this coarse bread. It was deposited in 
vol. ii. 37 

434 graham's lectures on the 

the store rooms with the other provisions of the army on 
the day that it was baked, and at nine o'clock the next 
morning, was distributed to the soldiers, who were at first 
exceedingly displeased with the bread, and refused to 
eat it, often casting it from them with great rage, and 
violent execrations. But after two or three weeks they 
began to be much pleased with it T and preferred it to the 
fine flour bread." 

§1365. "My father," continues Mr. P., "whom I 
have often heard talk these things over, was a miller and 
a baker, and resided in the county of Essex, on the bor- 
der joining Suffolk, and near the barracks containing the 
eighty thousand soldiers. He contracted with govern- 
ment, to supply the eastern district of the county of Es- 
sex, with the kind of bread I have mentioned: and he used 
always to send me with it to the depositories on the day 
it was baked: and though I was then a youth, I can still 
very distinctly remember the angry looks and remarks of 
the soldiers, when they were first supplied with it. In- 
deed, they often threw their loaves at me as I passed along, 
and accompanied them with a volley of curses. — The 
result of this experiment was, that not only the wheat was 
made to go much farther, but the health of the soldiers 
improved so much and so manifestly, in the course of a 
few months, that it became a matter of common remark 
among themselves, and of observation and surprise among 
the officers and physicians of the army. These gentle- 
men at length came out with confidence and zeal on the 
subject, and publicly declared that the soldiers were never 
before so healthy and robust; and that disease of every 
kind had almost entirely disappeared from the army. The 
public papers, were for months, filled with recommenda- 
tions of this bread, and the civic physicians almost uni- 
versally throughout Great Britain, pronounced it far the 


Most healthy bread that could be eaten, and as such, 
recommended it to all the people, who very extensively 
followed the advice: — and the coarse wheaten bread was 
very generally introduced into families, female boarding 
schools, and indeed, all public institutions. The nobility 
also, generally used it; and in fact, in many towns, it was 
a rare thing to meet with a piece of fine flour bread. The 
physicians generally asserted that this wheaten bread was 
the very best thing that could fee taken into the human 
stomach, to promote -digestion and peristaltic action; and 
that it, more than any thing else, would assist the stomach 
hi digesting other things which were less easily digested, 
and therefore they recommended that a portion of it should 
be eaten at every meal with other food. Still, after this 
extensive experiment had been made with such happy 
results, and after so general and full a testimony had been 
given in favor of the coarse wheaten bread, when large 
supplies of superfine flour came in from America, and the 
crops at home were abundant, and the act of parliament 
m relation to the army became extinct, most of the peo- 
ple who had before been accustomed to the use of fine 
flour bread, now by degrees returned again to then' old 
habits of eating fine bread. Many of the nobility, how- 
ever, continued to use the coarse bread for a number of 
years afterwards. General Hanoward, Squire Western, 
Squire Hanbury and others living near my father's con- 
tinued to use the bread for a long time, and some of them 
still used it when I left home and came to America, in 

§ 1366. The testimony of sea captains and old whale- 
men is equally in favor of wheaten bread. (§755.) "I have 
always found," said a very intelligent sea captain of more 
than thirty years' experience, "that the coarser my ship 
bread, the healthier my crew is." A writer in Rees' 

436 graham's lectures on the 

Cyclopaedia, (article Bread,) says — "The inhabitants of 
Westphalia, who are a hardy and robust people, and 
capable of enduring the greatest fatigues, are a living tes- 
timony to the salutary effects of this sort of bread; and 
it is remarkable that they are very seldom attacked by 
acute fevers, and those other diseases which are from bad 
humors." In short, as I have already stated, (§ 1337.) 
the bread of a large portion of the laboring class, or peas- 
antry, throughout Europe, Asia and Africa, and the 
islands of the ocean; whether leavened or unleavened — 
whether more or less artificially prepared, is made of the 
whole substance of the grain from which it is manufactured: 
and no one who is sufficiently enlightened in physiologi- 
cal science to qualify him to judge correctly in this mat- 
ter, can doubt that bread made in the best manner from 
unbolted wheat meal, is far better adapted to the ana- 
tomical structure and physiological powers of the alimen- 
tary organs of man, than bread made of superfine wheat 
flour; and consequently, the former is far more conducive 
to the health and vigor and general well-being of man than 
the latter. 

§ 1367. If therefore, mankind will have raised bread 
which in every respect most perfectly conforms to the 
laws of constitution and relation established in their na- 
ture, (§ 1322.) and is most highly conducive to the wel- 
fare of their bodies and souls, then must it be well made, 
well baked, light and sweet bread, which contains all the 
natural properties of the wheat. And if they will have 
this bread of the very best, and most wholesome kind, 
they must, as I have already stated, see that the soil from 
which their wheat is raised, is of a proper character, and 
is properly tilled,— that the wheat is plump— full-grown 
— ripe, and free from rust and other diseases; and then, 
before it is ground, they must see that it is thoroughly 


cleansed, not only from chaff, cockles, tares, and such 
like substances, but also from all smut, and every kind 
of impurity that may be attached to the skin of the ker- 
nel. And let every one be assured that this is a matter 
which really deserves all the attention and care that I 
suggest. If human existence is worth possessing, it is 
worth preserving; and they who have enjoyed it as some 
have done, and as all the human family are naturally en- 
dowed with the capabilities to enjoy it, certainly will not 
doubt whether it is worth possessing; nor, if they will 
properly consider the matter, can they doubt that its 
preservation is worthy of their most serious and diligent 
care. And when they perceive how intimately and close- 
ly the character of their bread is connected with the dear- 
est interests of man, they will not be inclined to feel that 
any reasonable amount of care and labor is too much to 
be given to secure precisely the right kind of bread. 

§ 13GS. I repeat then, that they who would have the 
very best bread, should certainly wash their wheat, and 
cleanse it thoroughly from all impurities, before they 
take it to the mill; and when it is properly dried, it 
should be ground by sharp stones which will cut rather 
than mash it: and particular care should be taken that it 
is not ground too fine. Coarsely ground wheat meal, 
even when the bran is retained, makes decidedly sweet- 
er and more wholesome bread than very finely ground 
meal. — When the meal is ground, it should immediately 
be spread out to cool before it is put into sacks or 
casks: — for if it is packed or enclosed in a heated state, 
it will be far more likely to become sour and musty, 
And I say again, where families are in circumstances to 
do wholly as they choose in the matter, it is best to have 
but little ground at a time: as the freshly ground meal is 

438 graham's lectures on the 

always the liveliest and sweetest, and makes the most 
delicious bread. 

§ 1369. When the meal is thus prepared and brought 
home, whether in a barrel or sack, the next thing to be 
attended to, is that, it be placed and kept in a perfectly 
clean and sweet and well ventilated meal room. It should 
on no consideration be put into a closet, or pantry, or 
store-room, which is seldom aired, and more rarely 
cleansed; and into which all manner of rubbish is thrown, 
or even where other kinds of provisions are kept. If 
the meal be put into a pantry or store-room which is 
confined and dirty, and into which old boots and shoes, 
and old clothes and pieces of carpet, and other things of 
this kind, are thrown, or where portions of vegetable or 
animal substance, whether cooked or uncooked, are ha- 
bitually or even occasionally put and permitted to remain, 
it must be expected, as a matter of course — of necessity, 
that the quality of the meal will be considerably deterio- 
rated by the impurities with which the air of the place 
will be loaded, and which will be continually generated 
there. People generally have but a sorry idea of what 
constitutes true cleanliness; but they may be assured that 
they cannot be too deeply impressed with the importance 
of keeping their meal room as clean and sweet and well- 
aired as possible. 

Properties of Meal — Yeast — Fermentation. 

§ 1370. According to the statement of Professor Thom- 
son, of Edinburgh, one pound of good wheat meal con- 
tains ten ounces of farina or starch, three ounces of bran, 
six drams of gluten and two drams of sugar; — and it is 
because wheat contains such proportions of these sub- 
stances that it makes the very best loaf bread. The 


farina or starch is the principal nourishing property; — the 
saccharine matter or sugar is also highly nutrient; but in 
the process of making loaf bread, it serves mainly, by its 
vinous fermentation, to produce the gas or air by which 
the dough is raised and the bread made light. The gluten 
is likewise a very nutrient property, but in loaf bread, it 
principally serves, by its cohesiveness, like gum elastic, 
or India rubber, to prevent the gas or air formed by the 
fermentation of the sugar, from escaping or passing off; — 
and the gas being thus retained, inflates or puffs up the 
dough, and makes it porous and light. The bran, with 
its mucilaginous and other properties, not only adds to 
the nuiritiousness of the bread, but eminently serves to 
increase its digestibility, and to invigorate the digestive 
organs, and preserve the general integrity of their func- 

§ 1371. The next thing indispensably necessary to the 
making of good loaf bread, is good, lively, sweet yeast, or 
leaven, to produce what is called the panary, or more 
properly, the vinous fermentation of the saccharine matter, 
or sugar. — Some bread-makers will do best with one kind 
of yeast or leaven, and some with another. I have gen- 
erally found that people do best with those materials to 
which they have been most accustomed; but I am sorry 
to find so general a dependence on breweries for yeast. 
To say nothing of the impure and poisonous substances 
which brewers employ in the manufacture of beer, and 
which always affect the quality of their yeast, I am con- 
fident that domestic yeast can be made of a far superior 
quality. However light and good in other respects that 
bread may be which is made with brewers' yeast, I have 
rarely if ever seen any, in which I could not at once de- 
tect the disagreeable properties of the yeast. — There are 
various ways of making domestic yeast. One of the sim- 
plest, and perhaps the best, is the following, which was 

440 graham's lectures on the 

communicated to me by one of the best bread-makers I 
ever saw: — " Put into one gallon of water a double hand- 
ful of hops; — boil them fifteen or twenty minutes, then 
strain off the water while it is scalding hot; — stir in wheat 
flour or meal till it becomes a thick batter, so that it will 
hardly pour; — let it stand till it becomes about blood 
warm, then add a pint of good lively yeast, and stir it well; 
and then let it stand in a place where it will be kept at a 
temperature of about seventy degrees Fah. till it becomes 
perfectly light, — whether more or less time is required; 
and then it is fit for use. — Or if it is desired to keep a 
portion of it, let it stand several hours and become cool; 
and then put it into a clean jug and cork it tight, and place 
it in the cellar where it will keep cool; and it may be 
preserved good, ten or twelve days, and even longer." 
Another way by which yeast when thus made may be 
preserved much longer, and perhaps more conveniently, 
is, to take it when it has become perfectly light, and stir 
in good Indian meal until it becomes a hard dough: then 
take this dough and make it into small thin cakes, and 
dry them perfectly, without baking or cooking them at 
all. These cakes, if kept perfectly dry, will be good for 
several weeks and even months. When yeast is needed, 
take some of these cakes (more or less according to the 
quantity of bread desired) and break them fine and dissolve 
them in warm water, and then stir in some wheat flour 
till a batter is formed, which should be kept at a temper- 
ature of about sixty degrees Fah. till the yeast becomes 
light and lively, and fitted for making bread. Others, in 
making this yeast, originally put into the water with the 
hops, a double handful of good clean wheat bran, and 
boil them up together and strain off the water as above 
described: others again, boil up a quantity of wheat bran 
without the hops, and make their yeast in all other re* 
spects as above described. 


§ 1372. The milk yeast is greatly preferred by many; 
and when it is well managed, it certainly makes very 
handsome bread. The way of making it is simple. 
Take a quart of milk fresh fiom the cow, (more or less 
according to the quantity of bread desired,) — a little salt 
is generally added, and some add about half a pint o 
water blood warm, but this is not essential; — then stir 
wheat flour or meal into the milk till it forms a moder- 
ately thick batter; and then cover it over, and place it 
where it will remain at a temperature of from sixty to 
seventy degrees Fab. till it becomes perfectly light. It 
should then be used immediately: and let it be remem- 
bered that dough made with this yeast will sour sooner 
than that made with other yeast; and also that the bread 
after it is baked will become extremely dry and crumbly 
much sooner than bread made with other yeast. Yet 
this bread, when a day old, is exceedingly light and beau- 
tiful: albeit some dislike the animal smell and taste which 
it derives from the milk. 

§ 1373. In all these preparations of yeast and dough, 
it should ever be recollected that "the process offer- 
mentation cannot go on when the temperature is below 
thirty degrees Fah., that it proceeds quite slowly at fifty 
degrees, moderately at sixty degrees, rapidly at seventy 
degrees, and very rapidly at eighty degrees." — If there- 
fore, it is desired to have the yeast or dough stand sev- 
eral hours before it is used or baked, it should be kept 
at a temperature of about fifty degrees. But in the ordi- 
nary way of making bread, a temperature varying from 
sixty degrees to seventy degrees, or about summer heat, 
is perhaps as near right as it can well be made. 

§ 1374. Professor Thomson gives the following direc- 
tions for making yeast in large quantities: — " Add ten 
pounds of flour to two gallons of boiling water; — stir it 


well into a paste, let this mixture stand for seven hours) 
and then add ahout a quart of good yeast. In about six 
or eight hours, this mixture, if kept in a warm place, will 
have fermented and produced as much yeast as will make 
120 quartern loaves" (of 4 lbs. each.) A much smaller 
quantity can be made by observing due proportions of 
the ingredients. — To raise bread in a very short time 
without yeast, he gives the following recipe: — "Dissolve 
in water 2 ounces, 5 drams and 45 grains of common 
crystalized carbonate of soda, and mix the solution well 
with your dough, and then add 7 ounces, 2 drams and 
22 grains of muriatic acid of the specific gravity of 1.121) 
and knead it as rapidly as possible with your dough;- — it 
will rise immediately — fully as much, if not more than 
dough mixed with yeast— -and when baked, will be a very 
light and excellent bread." Smaller quantities would be 
required for small batches of bread. A tea-spoonful or 
more (according to the quantity of dough or batter) of 
super-carbonate of soda dissolved in water, and flour 
stirred in till it becomes a batter, and then an equal quan- 
tity of tartaric acid dissolved and stirred in thoroughly, 
will in a few minutes make very light batter for griddle 
or pancakes; or if it be mixed into a thick dough, it will 
make light bread, Good lively yeast however, makes 
better bread than these alkalies and acids: howbeit these 
are very convenient in emergencies, when bread or cakes 
must be prepared in a very short time; or when the 
yeast has proved inefficient. 

§1375. We see then (§ 1370.) that wheat meal con- 
sists of certain proportions of starch, gluten, sugar, 
bran, &c; and that in making loaf bread, we add yeast 
or leaven, in order to produce that kind of fermentation 
peculiar to saccharine matter or sugar, which is called 
vinous, and by which the gas or air is formed that raises 


the dough. But the sugar is an incorporate part of every 
particle of the meal, and is therefore equally diffused 
throughout the whole mass; and hence if we would make 
the very best loaf bread, the fermentive principle or 
yeast must also be equally diffused throughout the 
whole mass, so that a suitable portion of yeast will 
be brought to act at the same time on every particle of 
saccharine matter in the mass. — But let us endeavor to 
understand this process of fermentation. To speak in 
the language of chemistry, sugar is composed of certain 
proportions of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. The 
yeast, acting on the sugar, overcomes those affinities by 
which these substances are held in the constitutional ar- 
rangement of sugar, and the process of decay or decom- 
position of the sugar takes place, which is called vinous 
fermentation. By this process of decay, two other 
forms of matter are produced, of an essentially different 
nature from each other and from the sugar. One of 
them is called carbonic acid gas or air, being formed by 
a chemical combination of certain proportions of carbon 
and oxygen. The other is known by the name of alco- 
hol, and consists of a chemical combination of certain 
proportions of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Carbonic 
acid gas, as we have seen, (§ 143.) is also produced by 
animal respiration or breathing, by the combustion of 
wood, coal, &c &c, and in other ways of nature and of 
art: but neither in nature nor in art, is there any known 
way by which alcohol can be produced, except by that 
process of the decay or destruction of sugar called 
vinous fermentation. The carbonic acid gas, produced 
in the manner I have stated, is the air which inflates or 
puffs up and swells out the bread, when there is sufficient 
gluten or other cohesive matter in the dough to prevent 
its escape. If the dough be permitted to stand too long 

444 graham's lectures on the 

in a warm place, the fermentation, having destroyed 
most or all of the sugar, will begin to act on the starch 
and mucilage, and destroy their nature, and produce 
vinegar; and therefore, this stage of it is called the ace- 
tous fermentation; and if it still be permitted to go on, 
it will next commence its work of destruction on the 
gluten; and this is called the putrefactive fermentation, 
because it in many respects resembles the putrefaction of 
animal matter. 

§ 1376. The vinous fermentation, therefore, by which 
the dough is raised and made light, may be carried to all 
necessary extent, and still be limited in its action to the 
saccharine matter or sugar — leaving the starch and gluten, 
and other properties of the meal, uninjured; and this is 
the point at which the fermentation should be arrested by 
the heat that bakes the dough. If it be permitted to go 
beyond the sugar, and act on the mucilage and starch, 
and produce acidity, the excellence of the bread is in 
some degree irreparably destroyed. The acid may be 
neutralized by pearlash or soda, so that the bread shall 
not be sour; but still, something of the natural flavor of 
the bread is gone, and it is not possible by any earthly 
means to restore it; and this injury will always be in pro- 
portion to the extent to which the process of the acetous 
fermentation is permitted to go in destroying the nature 
of the starch, and the bread will be proportionably desti- 
tute of that natural sweetness and delicious richness 
essential to good bread. Yet it is almost universally 
true, both in public and domestic bread-making, that the 
acetous fermentation is allowed to take place; and salera- 
tus, or soda, or some other chemical agent is employed 
to neutralize the acid. By this means, we may have 
bread free from acidity, it is true, but it is also destitute 
of the best and most delicious properties of good bread; 


and generally, by the time it is twenty-four hours old — 
and this is particularly true of bakers' bread — it is as dry 
and tasteless and unsavory as if it were made of plaster 
of Paris. Many bread-makers mix their saleratus or soda 
with their yeast, or introduce it when they mix their 
dough, so that if the acetous fermentation does take place, 
the acid is neutralized by the alkali, and therefore, not 
being perceived, it is supposed never to have existed, and 
the bread is called sweet and good; especially if a small 
quantity of molasses be employed in making the dough. 
Others far more wisely withhold their alkali till the dough 
is raised enough to mould into the loaf, and then if it is 
found to be in any degree acid, a solution of saleratus or 
soda is worked into it, so as just to neutralize the acid, 
and no more. This is infinitely better than to have sour 
bread, which, after all, is almost everywhere met with; 
yet the very best bread that can be made in this way is 
only second best. Happy are they who can make good, 
light and sweet bread, without the use of molasses — with- 
out suffering the least degree of acetous fermentation to 
take place, and without employing saleratus, soda, or any 
other kind of alkali. 

§ 1 377. The third or putrefactive stage of fermentation 
rarely takes place in domestic bread-making; but it is by 
no means uncommon in public bakeries. Indeed, it is 
thought necessary in the manufacture of certain kinds of 
crackers, in order to make them split open, and render 
them brittle, and cause them readily to become soft when 
dipped into water. But dyspepsy crackers, and all oth- 
er kinds of bread made in this way are, to say the least of 
them, miserable stuff. For besides the fact that all the 
best qualities of the flour or meal have been destroyed 
by fermentation, the great quantity of alkali employed in 

vol. ii. 38 

446 graham's lectures on the 

neutralizing the acid, is necessarily injurious to the di- 
gestive organs. 

Mixing, kneading and baking Bread. 

§ 1378. Now then, the business of the bread-maker is to 
take the wheat meal, prepared in the manner I have stated, 
and with all the properties I have described, (§ 1370.) 
and convert it into good, light, sweet, well-baked bread, 
with the least possible change in those properties; so 
that the bread, when done, will present to the senses of 
smell and taste, all the delicious flavor and delicate sweet- 
ness which pure organs perceive in the meal of good 
new wheat, just taken from the ear and ground, or chew- 
ed without grinding; and it should be so baked that it 
will, as a general rule, require and secure a fullexercise 
of the teeth in mastication. (§ 719.) 

§ 1379. Take then, such a quantity of meal, in a per- 
fectly clean and sweet bread trough, as is necessary for 
the quantity of bread desired, and having made a hollow 
in the centre, turn in as much yeast as a judgment ma- 
tured by sound experience shall deem requisite; then add 
such a quantity of water, milk and water, or clear milk, 
as is necessary to form the meal into a dough of proper 
consistency. Some prefer bread mixed with water 
alone; others prefer that which is mixed with milk and 
water; and others think that bread mixed with good 
milk is much richer and better; while others dislike the 
animal odor and taste of bread mixed with milk. Per- 
haps the very best and most wholesome bread is that 
which is mixed with pure soft water, when such bread 
is made perfect. But whether, water, milk and water, 
or milk alone is employed, it should be used at a tem- 
perature of about blood heat. 


§ 1380. Here let it be understood, that the starch of 
the meal is of such a nature that, by a delicate process 
peculiar to itself, it becomes changed into sugar or sac- 
charine matter; and when the fluid used in mixing the 
dough is of a proper temperature, and the dough is prop- 
erly mixed and kneaded, this process, to some small 
extent takes place, and a small portion of the starch is 
actually converted into sugar, and thereby increases the 
sweetness of the bread. Let it also be recollected here, 
that the saccharine matter on which the yeast is to act, is 
equally diffused throughout the whole mass of the meal, 
(§ 1375.) and therefore, if the yeast be not properly dif- 
fused throughout the whole mass, but is unequally dis- 
tributed, so that an undue quantity of it remains in one 
part, while other parts receive little or none, then the 
fermentation will go on very rapidly in some parts of the 
mass, and soon run into the acetous state, while in other 
parts it will proceed very slowly or not at all; and con- 
sequently, large cavities will be formed in some parts of the 
dough, while other parts of it will remain as compact and 
heavy as when first mixed, and sometimes even more so. 
I need not say that such dough cannot be made into 
good bread; yet it is probably true, that more than nine 
tenths of the bread consumed in this country, is more or 
less of this character. Nor, after what I have said, 
should it seem necessary for me to remark, that good 
bread cannot be made by merely stirring the meal and 
yeast and water or milk together into a thin dough or 
sponge, and suffering it to ferment with little or no work- 
ing or kneading. Bread made in this manner, if it is not 
full of cavities large enough for a mouse to burrow in, 
surrounded by parts as solid as lead, is almost invariably 
full of cells of the size of large peas and grapes; and the 
substance of the bread has a shining, glutinous appear- 

448 Graham's lectures on the 

ance; and if the bread is not sour, it is because pearlash 
or some other kind of alkali has been used to destroy the 
acid. — The very appearance of such bread is forbidding, 
and shows, at a glance, that it has not been properly 
mixed, — that the yeast has acted unequally on different 
portions of the meal, and that the fermentation has not 
been of the right kind. 

§ 1381. But if the yeast be so diffused throughout the 
whole mass, as that a suitable portion of it will act on 
each and every particle of the saccharine matter at the 
same time, and if the dough be of such a consistency and 
temperature as not to admit of too rapid a fermentation, 
then each minute portion of saccharine matter through- 
out the whole mass, will, in the process of fermentation, 
produce its little volume of air, which will form its little 
cell, about the size of a pin's head, and smaller; and this 
will take place so nearly at the same time, in every part of 
the dough, that the whole will be raised and made as light as 
a sponge, before the acetous fermentation takes place in 
any part. And then, if it be properly moulded and bak- 
ed, it will make the most beautiful and delicious bread — 
perfectly light and sweet, without the use of any alkali, 
and with all the gluten and nearly all the starch of the 
meal remaining unchanged by fermentation. 

§ 1382. Who that can look back thirty or forty years 
to those blessed days of New England's prosperity and 
happiness, when our good mothers used to make the fami- 
ly bread, but can well remember how long and how patient- 
ly those excellent matrons stood over their bread troughs, 
kneading and moulding their dough? and who with such 
recollections cannot also well remember the delicious 
bread that those mothers used invariably to set before 
them? There was a natural sweetness and richness in it 
which made it always desirable; and which we cannot 


now vividly recollect, without feeling a strong desire to 
partake again of such bread as our mothers made for us 
in the days of our childhood. 

§ 1383. Let it be borne in mind then, that without a 
very thorough kneading of the dough, there can be no 
just ground of confidence that the bread will be good. 
"It should be kneaded," says one of much experience 
in this matter, "till it becomes flaky." Indeed, I am 
confident that our loaf bread would be greatly improved 
in all its qualities, if the dough were for a considerable 
time subjected to the operations of the machine which 
the bakers call the break, used in making crackers and 
sea bread. 

§ 1384. The wheat meal, and especially if it is ground 
coarsely, swells considerably in the dough, and therefore 
the dough should not, at first, be made quite so stiff, as 
that made of superfine flour; and when it is raised, if it 
is found too soft to mould well, let a little more meal be 

§ 1385. When the dough has been properly mixed 
and thoroughly kneaded, cover it over with a clean nap- 
kin or towel, and a light woollen blanket kept for the pur- 
pose, and place the bread trough where the temperature 
will be kept at about sixty degrees Fah. or about summer 
heat, and there let it remain till the dough becomes light. 
But, as it is impossible to regulate the quantity and qual- 
ity of your yeast, the moisture and temperature of your 
dough, and several odier conditions and circumstances, 
so as to secure at all times precisely the same results in 
the same time, it is therefore necessary that careful atten- 
tion should be given that the proper moment should be 
seized to work over and mould the dough into the loaf, 
and get it into the oven just at the time when it is as light 
as it can be made by the vinous fermentation, and before 

450 graham's lectures on the 

the acetous fermentation commences. If however, by 
any means, there should unfortunately be a little acidity 
in the dough, take a small quantity of saleratus, or, what 
is better, carbonate of soda, and dissolve it in some warm 
water, and carefully work in just enough to neutralize the 
acid. The best bread-makers are so exceedingly careful 
on this point, that they dip their fingers into the solution 
of saleratus or soda, and thrust them into the dough in 
every part, as they work it over, so as to be sure that 
they get in just enough to neutralize the acid, and not a 
particle more. But I must here repeat, that they who 
would have the very best of bread, must always consider 
it a cause of regret, that there should be any necessity to 
use alkali; because the acetous fermentation cannot in 
any degree take place, without commensurately and irre- 
mediably impairing the quality of the bread. And here 
it should be remarked, that dough made of wheat meal 
will take on the acetous fermentation, or become sour, 
sooner than that made of fine flour. This is probably 
owing principally to the mucilage contained in the bran, 
which runs into the acetous fermentation sooner than 

§ 13S6. While the dough is rising, preparations should 
be made for baking it. Some bake their bread in a brick 
oven, some in a stove, some in a reflector, and some in 
a baking kettle. In all these ways very good bread may 
be baked; but the baking kettle is decidedly the most 
objectionable. Probably there is no better and more 
certain way of baking bread well than in the use of the 
brick oven. Good bread-makers, accustomed to brick 
ovens, can always manage them with a very great degree 
of certainty; and as a general fact, bread is sweeter, baked 
in this way, than in any other. Yet, when it is well baked 
in tin reflectors, it is certainly very fine; and so it is also 


when well baked in iron stoves. But the baking of bread 
requires almost as much care and judgment as any part 
of the process of bread-making. If the oven is too hot, 
the bread will burn on the outside before it is done in the 
centre; if it is too cold, the bread will be heavy, raw 
and sour. If the heat is much greater from below than 
from above, the bottom of the loaf will burn before the 
top is done: or if the heat is much greater from above 
than from below, the top of the loaf will burn before the 
bottom is done. All these points therefore must be care- 
fully attended to; and no small excuse ought to be con- 
sidered a satisfactory apology for sour, heavy, raw or 
burnt bread; for it is hardly possible to conceive of an 
absolute necessity for such results; and the cases are 
extremely rare in which they are not the offspring of 
downright and culpable carelessness. The best bread- 
makers I have ever known, watch over their bread troughs 
while their dough is rising, and over their ovens while it 
is baking, with about as much care and attention as a 
mother watches over the cradle of her sick child. — Dough 
made of wheat meal requires a hotter oven than that made 
of fine flour; and it needs to remain in the oven longer. 
Indeed, it is a general fault of bread of every description, 
made in this country, that it is not sufficiently baked. 
Multitudes eat their bread hot and smoking from the oven, 
in a half-cooked state; and very few seem to think there 
is any impropriety in doing so. But they who would 
have their bread good, not only a few hours after it comes 
from the oven, but as long as it can be kept, must see 
that it is thoroughly baked. 

§ 1387. I have said that the process of vinous fer- 
mentation converts a portion of the saccharine matter of 
the meal into carbonic acid gas or air, by which means 
the dough is raised and made light; and that the same 

452 graham's lectures on the 

process converts a portion of the saccharine matter into 
alcohol. (§1375.) The alcohol thus generated is mostly 
driven off by the heat of the oven when the dough is bak- 
ing; — and in modern times, ovens have been so construct- 
ed in England, as to serve the double purpose of ovens 
and stills; so that, while the bread is baking, the alcohol is 
distilled off and condensed, and saved for the various 
uses of arts and manufacture. 

§ 1388. The question has however, been frequently 
started, whether a portion of the alcohol thus generated, 
is not contained in the bread when it comes from the 
oven. The notion commonly entertained is that the 
alcohol is wholly expelled by the heat of the oven, in 
the process of baking; and this opinion I supposed to be 
correct, until careful and repeated investigation convinced 
me of its error. I have in numerous instances, within 
the last twelve months, found, in thoroughly baked bread, 
soon after it was drawn from the oven, so large a quantity 
of alcohol that it was strongly perceptible to the sense 
of smell. Moreover, it is well known that if two por- 
tions of wheat meal or flour be taken from the same 
barrel or sack, and one portion be made into unleavened 
bread, and the other portion be made made into the very 
best fermented or raised bread, and both be eaten as soon 
as they are baked, the fermented bread will digest with 
more difficulty, and oppress and disturb the stomach 
more than the unleavened bread will. (§ 1341.) Indeed, 
it is well known and very generally understood, that few 
of the articles which compose the food of man in civic 
life, are so trying to the human stomach, and so power- 
ful causes of dyspepsy, as fresh-baked raised bread. It 
is now well known also, that, alcohol wholly resists the 
action of the solvent fluid of the stomach, and is entirely 
indigestible; and always retards the digestion of those 


substances which contain it, (§ 453.) . How far all this 
may be true of carbonic acid gas, is not yet ascertained; 
but it is difficult to account for the difference between 
leavened and unleavened bread, as above slated, without 
supposing that the alcohol or carbonic acid gas, or both 
of them, are in some degree concerned in rendering the 
leavened bread, when newly baked, peculiarly oppressive 
and injurious to the stomach. Be it as it may however, 
it is very certain that when the bread has been drawn 
from the oven, and permitted to stand in a proper place 
twenty-four hours, — either by evaporation or some other 
means, it becomes perfectly matured, and so changed in 
character, that it is, if properly made, one of the most 
wholesome articles entering into the diet of man; and at 
that age, there is not the slightest reason to believe that 
a particle of alcohol remains in the bread- 

§ 13S9. When therefore, the bread is thoroughly baked, 
let it be taken from the oven and placed on a perfectly clean 
and sweet shelf, in a perfectly clean and well ventilated 
pantry. Do not, as you value the character of your bread, 
put it into a pantry where you set away dishes of cold meat, 
cold potatoes, and other vegetables, and keep your butter, 
cheese and various other table provisions — in a pantry 
which perhaps is seldom thoroughly cleansed with hot water 
and soap, and where the pure air of heaven seldom if ever 
has a free circulation. The quality of your bread should 
be of too much importance to allow of such reprehensible 
carelessness, not to say sluttishness. And if you will 
have your bread such as every one ought to desire to 
have it, you must pay the strictest attention to the clean- 
liness and sweetness of the place where you keep it. If 
in baking, the outer crust should become a little too dry 
and crispy, you can easily remedy this by throwing a clean 
bread or table cloth over it for a short time, when it first 

454 graham's lectures on the 

comes from the oven; but if this is not necessary, let 
the bread stand on an airy shelf, till it becomes perfectly 
cool, and when it is twenty-four hours old, it is fit for 
use; and if it is in all respects properly made, and pro- 
perly kept, it will continue to be sweet and delicious 
bread for two or even three weeks, except perhaps in 
very hot and sultry weather. 

§ 1390. When we have acquired the art of making 
such bread as I have described, in the very best manner, 
then have we carried the art of cooking to the very 
height of perfection; for it is not only true, that there 
is no other artificially prepared article in human diet of 
so much importance as bread, but it is also true that 
there is no other preparation in the whole round of cook- 
ing, which requires so much care and attention and 
experience and skill and wisdom. 

Who should make Bread ? 

§ 1391. Who then shall make our bread ? For after all 
that science in its utmost accuracy can do, in ascertaining 
principles and in laying down rules, there is little certainty 
that any one, who undertakes to make bread by merely rule, 
will be any thing like uniformly successful. We may make 
a batch of bread according to certain rules, and it may 
prove excellent; and then we may make another batch 
according to the same rules, which may be very poor. 
For, if we follow- our rules ever so closely, there may be 
some slight differences in the quality or condition of the 
meal or the yeast, or something else, which will materially 
alter the character of the bread, if we do not exercise a 
proper care and judgment, and vary our operations accor- 
ding as the particular circumstances of the case may require. 
Correct rules are certainly very valuable; but they can 


only serve as general way-marks, in the art of bread- 
making. Uniform success can only be secured by the 
exercise of that mature judgment which is always able to 
dictate those extemporaneous measures which every exi- 
gency and circumstance may require; and such a judgment 
can only result from a care and attention and experience 
which are the offspring of that moral sensibility which 
duly appreciates the importance of the quality of bread, 
in relation to the happiness and welfare of those that con- 
sume it. But are we to look for such a sensibility in 
public bakers? Can we expect that they will feel so 
lively and so strong an interest for our enjoyment and 
for our physical and intellectual and moral well-being, that 
they will exercise all that care and attention and patience, 
and watch with that untiring vigilance and solicitude in all 
the progress of their operations, which are indispensably 
necessary in order to secure us the best of bread? Or 
can we reasonably expect to find these qualifications 
in domestics — in those who serve us for hire? Many a 
female domestic, it is true, can make much better bread 
than her mistress can. Many a female domestic has an 
honest and sincere desire to do her duty faithfully; but 
can she be actuated by those sensibilities and affections 
which alone can secure that careful attention, that sound- 
ness of judgment, that accuracy of operation, without 
which the best of bread cannot uniformly, if ever be pro- 

§ 1392. No; — it is the wife, the mother only — she who 
loves her husband and her children as woman ought to love, 
and who rightly perceives the relations between the die- 
tetic habits and physical and moral condition of her loved 
ones, and justly appreciates the importance of good 
bread to their physical and moral welfare, — she alone it is, 
who will be ever inspired by that cordial and unremitting 

456 graham's lectures on the 

affection and solicitude which will excite the vigilance, 
secure the attention, and prompt the action requisite to 
success, and essential to the attainment of that maturity 
of judgment and skilfulness of operation, which are the 
indispensable attributes of a perfect bread-maker. And 
could wives and mothers fully comprehend the impor- 
tance of good bread, in relation to all the bodily and in- 
tellectual and moral interests of their husbands and chil- 
dren, and in relation to the domestic and social and civil 
welfare of mankind, and to their religious prosperity, both 
for time and eternity, they would estimate the art and 
duty of bread-making far, very far more highly than they 
now do. They would then realize that, as no one can 
feel so deep and delicate an interest for their husbands' 
and children's happiness as they do, so no one can be so 
proper a person to prepare for them that portion of their 
aliment, which requires a degree of care and attention 
that can only spring from the lively affections and solici- 
tude of a wife and mother. 

§ 1393. But it is a common thing to hear women say 
— "We cannot always have good bread, if we take ever 
so much pains; — it will sometimes be heavy, and some- 
times be sour, and sometimes badly baked, in spite of all 
our care." It may be true that such things will some- 
times happen, even with the best of care; — but I believe 
that there is almost infinitely more poor bread than there 
is any good excuse for. The truth is, the quality of 
bread is a matter of too little consideration; and therefore 
too little care is given to the making of it. Moreover, 
the sense of taste is so easily vitiated, that we can very 
easily become reconciled to the most offensive gustatory 
qualities, and even learn to love them; and it is a very 
common thing to find families so accustomed to sour 
bread, that they have no perception of its acid quality. 


"If. is very strange," said a lady to me one day at her 
dinner table, "that some folks always have sour bread, 
and never know it." She then went on to name a num- 
ber of families in the circle of her acquaintance, who, 
she said, invariably had sour bread upon their tables when 
she visited them — "and they never," continued she, 
" seem to have the least consciousness that their bread is 
not perfectly sweet and good." Yet this very lady, at 
the very moment she was thus addressing me, had sour 
bread upon her own table; and although I had for many 
months been very frequently at her table, 1 had never 
found any but sour bread upon it. Still she was wholly 
unconscious of the fact. 

§ 1394. Difficult however, as most women think it is, 
to have good bread always, yet there are some women 
who invariably have excellent bread. I have known 
such women. The wife of Thomas Van Winkle, Esq., 
of the beautiful valley of Booneton, New Jersey — peace 
to her ashes! — was deservedly celebrated throughout the 
whole circle of her acquaintance for her excellent bread. 
Few ever ate at her hospitable board once, that did not 
desire to enjoy the privilege again. I know not how 
often it has been my good fortune to sit at her table; 
but the times have not been few; and though long past, 
and she who presided there has slept for years in her 
grave, yet the remembrance of those times and of those 
hospitalities, awakens in my bosom a deep and fervent 
sentiment of gratitude while I write. — Never at the table 
of Mrs. Van Winkle did I eat poor bread; — and of my 
numerous acquaintances who had sat at her table, I never 
heard one say he had eaten poor bread there. Her 
bread was invariably good. Nay, it was of such a qual- 
ity that it was impossible for any one to eat of it, and 

vol. II. 39 

458 graham's lectures on the 

not be conscious that he was partaking of bread of extra- 
ordinary excellence. 

§ 1395. Mrs. Van Winkle, said I to her one day, 
while I was feasting on her delicious bread, tell me truly, 
is there either a miracle or mystery in this matter of 
bread-making, by which you are enabled to have such 
excellent bread upon your table at all times, while I 
rarely ever find it equally good at any other table, and at 
ninety-nine tables in a hundred, I almost invariably find 
poor bread? Is it necessarily so? Is it not possible 
for people by any means to have good bread uniformly? 
" There is no necessity for having poor bread at any time, 
if those who make it will give proper care and attention to 
their business," replied Mrs. Van Winkle, confidently. 
" If every woman will see that her flour is sweet and 
good, that her yeast is fresh and lively, that her bread 
trough is kept perfectly clean and sweet, that her dough 
is properly mixed and thoroughly kneaded, and kept at a 
proper temperature, and at the proper time moulded into 
the loaf, and put into the oven, which has been properly 
heated, and there properly baked, then good bread would 
be as common as poor bread now is. But while there 
is such perfect carelessness and negligence about the 
matter, it is not surprising that bread should be generally 

§ 1396. Mrs. Van Winkle was undoubtedly correct. 
If any thing like the care were given to bread-making 
that its real importance demands, a loaf of poor bread 
would rarely be met with. Indeed, if the same degree 
of care were given to bread-making, that is devoted to 
the making of cakes and pastry, we should far more 
generally be blessed with good bread. — Who does not 
know, that as soon as girls are old enough to go into 
company and to give parties, they begin to notice with 


great interest the qualities of the different kinds of cake 
and pastry which they meet with: and whenever they find 
any thing very nice, they are exceedingly curious to learn 
precisely how it was made. And lest memory should 
be treacherous, they will carefully write down the exact 
rules for mixing and cooking it; — "so many pounds of 
flour, so many pounds of butter, so many pounds of 
sugar, so many eggs, and spice to your taste — the eggs 
to be beaten so and so, the whole mixed so and so, and 
baked so many minutes," &c. &c. And thus with great 
care and industry they collect and write down, in a book 
which they keep for the purpose, all the recipes they 
can get hold of, for making every kind of cake and pastry 
used in society. And when they are preparing for com- 
pany, they rarely if ever order Dinah or any other 
domestic to make their nice cake. They do not regard 
it as a menial office, but as a highly genteel employ- 
ment; and their great desire to have their cake and pastry 
as good as it can be made, prompts them to undertake 
the manufacture of it themselves. And during this 
operation, the scales, the measures, the clock or watch, 
all are brought into requisition; the Recipe Book is 
placed upon the table before them, and carefully con- 
sulted; and every thing is done with the utmost precision 
and exactitude and vigilance. And if the young lady 
feels any misgiving as to her own judgment or taste or 
experience, she earnestly inquires of Ma, or some one 
else who she thinks is capable of giving her advice in so 
important a matter. — If in the midst of this employment 
some one knocks or rings at the door, and a young gen- 
tleman is announced, she is not at all embarrassed, but 
perhaps hastens to the parlor with her delicate hands 
covered with dough, and with an air of complacency and 
self-satisfaction, says — " Good morning, Frank — how 

460 graham's lectures on the 

do you do? I am just engaged in making some cake — I 
hope you will excuse me for a few moments." 

§ 1397. All this shows that she regards the quality of 
her cake as of very great importance, and considers it 
not only perfectly respectable, but highly genteel for a 
young lady to be employed in making cake. But in 
regard to bread and bread-making, every thing is very 
different; there is none of this early curiosity to learn 
how to make good bread. Young ladies do not on every 
occasion when they find excellent bread, carefully and 
minutely inquire how it was made, baked, &c, and write 
down the recipe; — but when a batch of bread is to be 
made for the family, they either leave it for Mother or 
some domestic to make, or go about it themselves as some 
irksome and disreputable piece of drudgery; and con- 
sequently, they turn the task off their hands with as much 
despatch and as little trouble as possible. If all things 
happen to be as they should be, it is well; if not, they 
must answer for the present. If the yeast happens to 
be lively and sweet, very lucky. If otherwise, still it 
must be used. If the dough rises well and is got into 
the oven before it becomes sour, very fortunate; if not, 
why, " nobody can avoid mistakes — and bread will some- 
times be poor in spite of the greatest care;" — and if a 
batch of miserable bread is the result of such an opera- 
tion, then all that remains to be done is to eai it up as 
soon as possible, and hope for better the next time. If 
Frank, or Charles, or Edward should call while the young 
lady is engaged in making bread, she is perhaps quite 
disconcerted, and would not for the world have him 
know what she is doing; — she sends word to him, either 
that she is out, or that she is particularly engaged, and 
begs he will excuse her; — or if by any means she hap- 
pens unexpectedly to be caught at her employment, she 


is greatly embarrassed, and makes the best apology she 
can for baing engaged in such menial services. 

§ 1393. As a matter of course, while such are the 
views and feelings entertained on this subject, and while 
such is the manner in which this duty is performed, it 
will ever be a mere accident, if good bread is made; and 
a mere accident if such girls ever become good bread- 
makers when they are wives and mothers. But if pa- 
rents and especially mothers, could view this matter in 
its true light, how differently would they educate their 
children. They would then feel that, grateful as it is to 
a mother's heart to see her daughters highly refined and 
elegantly accomplished, and able to "make the instru- 
ment discourse most eloquent music," and to transfer 
living nature, with all its truth and beauty and sublimity, 
to the canvass, still the art of bread-making, when con- 
sidered in all its relations and intimate connexions with 
human health and prosperity and virtue and happiness, 
and with reference to the natural responsibilities and du- 
ties of woman, is actually one of the highest and noblest 
accomplishments that can adorn the female character. 
And then, too, would they consider it of exceedingly 
great importance, that their daughters should possess this 
accomplishment, even though they may never be in cir- 
cumstances which will require the exercise of it. 

§ 1399. Some eight or ten years since, I spent sev- 
eral months in the delightful village of Belvidere, on the 
banks of the Delaware, in Pennsylvania. While there, 
I enjoyed for a number of weeks the kind hospitality of 

J S , Esq., a lawyer, and a gentleman of great 

moral excellence. Mrs. S. was born and brought up, I 
believe, in Philadelphia. Her father was a man of 
wealth, and she was the only daughter, and — almost as 
a matter of course — was indulged in all that she desired. 

462 graham's lectures on the 

But there were so many of the elements of a good wife 
and mother in her natural composition, that as soon as 
she entered into those interesting and important rela- 
tions, she began to devote herself to the duties of them 
with a sincerity and conscientiousness which could not 
fail of success. Surrounded as she was, with wealth, and 
every comfort and convenience of life, and all of its lux- 
uries that she desired, still she was industrious in her 
habits, and vigilantly attentive to all the concerns of her 
household. She usually kept three female domestics, 
who, by her kind, maternal deportment towards them, 
were warmly attached to her. She had no difficulty in 
procuring nor in keeping help, because she always treat- 
ed them in such a manner that they loved to stay with 
her; and she took much pains to qualify them for the 
proper discharge of their duties. They evidently loved 
her, and were sincerely desirious of performing all their 
services in such a manner as would be pleasing to her. 
Yet with all these advantages to justify her leaving such 
a duty to her domestics, Mrs. S. invariably made the 
family bread with her own hands. Regularly as the 
baking day came, she went into her kitchen and took her 
stand beside the bread trough, and mixed and kneaded 
the dough, and put it in its proper place for rising, and, 
in due time, moulded it into the loaf and baked it. — 
Do you always make your bread, madam? I inquired one 
day, as she returned from the performance of that task. 
" Invariably," she replied: "that is a duty I trust no 
other person to do for me." — But cannot your domes- 
tics make good bread? I asked. " I have excellent 
domestics," answered Mrs. S., " and they can, perhaps, 
make as good bread as I can; for they have been with 
me several years, and I have taken pains to learn them 
how to do my work; and they are exceedingly faithful 


and affectionate, and are always willing to do all they 
can to please me; but they cannot feel for my husband 
and my children as I do, and therefore, they cannot feel 
that interest which I do, in always having such bread as 
my husband and my children will love and enjoy. Be- 
sides, if it were certain their care and vigilance and suc- 
cess in bread -making would be always equal to mine, yet 
it is wholly uncertain how long they will remain with me. 
Various circumstances may take place, which may cause 
them to leave me, and bring me into dependence upon 
those who know not how to make good bread; and there- 
fore, I choose to keep my own hand in. But, apart from 
all othsr considerations, there is a pleasure resulting from 
the performance of this duty, which richly rewards me 
for all the labor of it. When my bread is made and 
brought upon the table, and I see my husband and chil- 
dren eat it and enjoy it, and hear them speak of its excel- 
lence, it affords me much satisfaction, and I am glad to 
know that I have contributed so much to their health and 
happiness; for, while my bread is so good that they pre- 
fer it to any thing else upon the table, there is little dan- 
ger of their indulging, to any injurious extent, in those 
articles of fond which are less favorable to their health." 
§ 1400. 1 need not say that this lady invariably had 
excellent bread upon her table. But instances of this 
kind are, I regret to say, extremely rare, even in chris- 
tian communities; and therefore, when such cases are 
known, they ought to be held up as most noble examples 
of female virtue, and receive such high commendations 
as their intrinsic merit deserves, and such as will be cal- 
culated to beget in the minds of others an exalted sense 
of the dignity and importance of such duties, and prompt 
every wife and mother to the intelligent and affectionate 
performance of them. — For it should ever be remem- 

464 graium's lectures on the 

bered that, though our children, while they depend on us 
for protection, are also, properly the subjects of our gov- 
ernment, yet as soon as they are capable of appreciating 
our authority and our influence, they are, like ourselves, 
moral agents, and ought, in all respects, to be governed 
and nurtured as such; and therefore, it is not enough that 
we can give them such food as we think best for them, 
and compel them to eat it; but the grand point at which 
the mother should always aim, in this matter, is to place 
before her children such food as is the very best for them, 
and at the same time, to make it the most agreeable to 
them, and thereby make their duty and their enjoyment 
perfectly coincide. 

§ 1401. Let no one therefore, say she cannot always 
have good bread, until she can truly affirm that she has 
fairly made the experiment; that she has, in view of all 
its relations and bearings, accurately estimated the impor- 
tance of the quality of her bread in regard to the welfare 
of her household, and, with a proper sense of her re- 
sponsibilities as a wife and mother, has at all times felt 
that interest and exercised that care and attention which 
so important a duty demands, and without which it must 
ever be a mere accident whether her bread is good or 
bad. They that will have good bread, not only for a 
single time, but uniformly, must make the quality of their 
bread of sufficient importance, in their estimation and feel- 
ings, to secure the requisite attention to the means by 
which alone such an end can be made certain. They 
must not suffer themselves, through carelessness, to get 
entirely out of bread unexpectedly, and thus be obliged, 
without due preparation, to make up a batch of such ma- 
terials as they may happen to have at hand, and bake it 
in haste, and hurry it to the table. But they must exer- 
cise providence and foresight: they must know, before- 


hand, when their supply of hread will probably be out, 
and when they will need to make another batch; and they 
must see beforehand, that measures are taken to secure a 
proper supply of all the requisite materials; — see that they 
are furnished with good meal or flour, and they must be 
sure to have the best of yeast or leaven, when they need 
it, — and when the time comes for them to make their 
bread, if by any means, the yeast should not be good, let 
them throw it away and make good, before they proceed 
to make their bread; for it is infinitely better that the 
family should even do without bread one day, and eat 
roasted potatoes, than that they should eat poor bread 
three or four clays; and if, from any cause, the bread 
should be poor, it is incomparably better to throw it away, 
than to set it upon the table, to disgust the whole family 
with bread, and drive them to make most of their meal 
on something else. If a lady can ever find a good ex- 
cuse for having poor bread, she certainly can find none, 
except perhaps extreme poverty, for setting her poor 
bread on the table the second time. Yet, too generally, 
women seem to think that, as a matter of course, if they, 
by carelessness or any other means, have been so un- 
lucky as to make a batch of poor bread, their family and 
friends must share their misfortune, and help them eat it 
up; and, by this means, many a child has had its health 
seriously impaired, and its constitution injured, and per- 
haps its moral character ruined — by being driven in early 
life, into pernicious dietetic habits. 

§ 1402. It was observed many years ago, by one 
the most eminent and extensive practitioners in New 
England, that, during a practice of medicine for thirty 
years, he had always remarked that, in those families 
where the children were most afflicted with worms, lie 
invariably found poor bread; and that, as a general fact, 

466 graham's lectures on the 

the converse of this was true; that is, in those families 
where they uniformly had heavy, sour, ill-baked bread, 
he generally found that the children were afflicted with 

§ 1403. A careful and extensive observation for a few 
years, would convince every intelligent mind that there 
is a far more intimate relation between the quality of the 
bread and the moral character of a family, than is gener- 
ally supposed. — " Keep that man at least ten paces from 
you, who eats no bread with his dinner," said Lavater, in 
his " Aphorisms on Man." This notion appears to be 
purely whimsical at first glance: but Lavater was a 
shrewd observer, and seldom erred in the moral inferen- 
ces which he drew from the voluntary habits of mankind; 
and depend upon it, a serious contemplation of this appa- 
rent whim, discloses a deeper philosophy than is at first 
perceived upon the surface. — Whatever may be the 
cause which turns our children and ourselves away from 
the dish of bread, and establishes an habitual disregard 
for it, the effect, though not perhaps in every individual 
instance, yet, as a general fact, is certainly, in some de- 
gree, unfavorable to the physical and intellectual and 
moral and religious and social and civil and political 
interests of man. — Of all the artificially prepared articles 
of food which come upon our table therefore, bread 
should be that one which, as a general fact, is uniformly 
preferred by our children and our household, — that one, 
the absence of which they would notice soonest, and feel 
the most, — that one which, — however they may enjoy 
for a time the little varieties set before them — they would 
be most unwilling to dispense with, — and which, if they 
were driven to the necessity, they would prefer to any 
other dish, as a single article of subsistence. — To effect 
this state of things, it is obvious that, the quality of the 


bread must be uniformly excellent; and to secure this, I 
say again, there must be a judgment, an experience, a 
skill, a care, a vigilance, which can only spring from the 
sincere affections of a devoted wife and mother, who ac- 
curately perceives and duly appreciates the importance 
of these things, and, in the lively exercise of a pure 
and delicate moral sense, feels deeply her responsi- 
bilities, and is prompted to the performance of her 
duties. Would to God that this were all true of every 
wife and mother in our country — in the world f — that the 
true relations and interests and responsibilities of life 
were understood and felt by every human being, and all 
the duties of life properly and faithfully performed! 

Varieties of Bread. 

§ 1404. I have thus far spoken almost entirely of 
wheaten bread, because I consider that the most whole- 
some kind of loaf bread for ordinary use — for "daily 
bread." When bread is made of superfine flour, the 
same general rules should be observed. — Rice, barley, 
oats, rye, Indian corn, and many other farinaceous pro- 
ducts of the vegetable kingdom may also be manufactured 
into bread, but none of them will make so good loaf 
bread as wheat. Good rye raised on a sandy soil, when 
cleansed and ground in the manner I have already de- 
scribed, and prepared in all respects according to the 
rules I have laid down, will make very excellent bread. 
Rye, coarsely ground, without bolting, and mixed with 
Indian meal, makes very wholesome bread, when it is well 
made. Good rye and Indian bread is far more wholesome 
for common or every-day use, than that made of supcrfne 

§ 1405. There are various ways of preparing Indian 

468 graham's lectures on the 

meal bread: and vvheu such bread is well made, it is very 
wholesome — much more so for every-day use, than su- 
perfine flour bread. Indeed, Indian corn, in the various 
simple modes in which it is prepared for human aliment, 
is one of the most wholesome productions of the vegetable 
kingdom. "In a memoir lately readbefore the French 
Academy," says the Journal of Health, "the author 
undertook to show that maize (Indian corn) is more con- 
ducive to health than any other grain; and, as a proof of 
this, the fact was adduced that, in one of the departments 
in which this grain was most abundantly and universally 
used, the inhabitants were remarkable for their health 
and vigor." — One great drawback to the wholesomeuess 
of Indian meal bread, however, is that, it is almost uni- 
versally eaten hot, and too generally, pretty well oiled with 
butter, or some other kind of animal fat or oil. Never- 
theless, it can be prepared in such a manner as to obviate 
these difficulties, and render it very wholesome. 

§ 1406: Bailey and cats may be manufactured into 
very wholesome bread; but they are little used for such 
purposes in this country. — Rice, arrowroot, tapioca, 
sago, peas, beans, chestnuts, millet, buckwheat, potatoes, 
&c, may also, by mixing them with a portion of wheat 
or rye flour, be manufactured into loaf bread; but as I 
have already slated, there is no other kind of grain or 
farinaceous vegetable substance from which so good loaf 
bread can be made, as good wheat. 

§ 1407. In making bread from Indian meal, and other 
kinds of farinaceous substances containing little or no 
gluten, yeast or leaven is rarely if ever used to make it 
light. More generally sour milk or butter-milk and sal- 
eratus or soda are used for this purpose; and they who 
do not well understand the principle upon which these 
substances make their bread light, often greatly impair 


their own success by their mismanagement. — It is, per- 
haps, most common for them to mix their sour milk or 
butter-milk and saleratus together, and wait till the effer- 
vescence is over, before they stir in their meal. But by 
this means they lose the greater part of the gas or air by 
which their dough should be made light. The true way 
is to take their sour milk or butter-milk, and stir meal 
into it till a thin batter is formed, and then dissolve their 
saleratus or soda, and stir that quickly and thoroughly 
into the batter, and then hastily add meal till the batter 
or dough is brought into the consistency desired. If, 
instead of sour milk or butter-milk, a solution of muriatic 
or tartaric acid is used, the bread will be equally light. 
In this case, the batter should be first made with a solu- 
tion of saleratus or soda, and then the solution of acid 
should be stirred in as above described. Batter cakes 
are made in this manner very light and very promptly. 
When from any cause batter or dough mixed with yeast 
fails to rise according to expectations, the thorough mix- 
ing in, first, the solution of muriatic or tartaric acid, and 
then the solution of saleratus or soda, will, in a few min- 
utes, make the whole mass very light, but such cakes 
and bread are not so sweet and savory as those raised 
with good sweet yeast. 

§ 1403. I have said, (§ 1348.) that recently ground 
meal makes far sweeter and richer bread, than that which 
has been ground a considerable time; but as it is not con- 
venient for many families to send to a mill as often as they 
would like to have fresh meal, they are obliged generally to 
use staler meal or flour than they would choose. Yet every 
family might easily be furnished with a modern patent 
hand-mill, constructed after the plan of a coffee-mill, with 
which they could at all times, with great ease, grind their 
wheat and rice and corn, as they want it, for bread and 
vol. ii. 40 

470 graham's lectures on the 

other purposes. "With these mills they can grind their 
stuff as finely or coarsely as they wish, for bread or 
hominy, and always have it very fresh and sweet. 

§ 1409. Perfect bread-making, I have said, (§ 1390.) 
is the top of perfection in the art of cooking. When 
good bread is made therefore, culinary skill has done 
its utmost. Wheat meal and flour, and the flour of 
other kinds of grain and vegetables, may be prepared in 
a great variety of other ways: but the stern truth is, that 
as a general rule, every departure from the simple form 
of bread, in cooking these substances, is more or less 
detrimental to the physiological interests of man: — and 
all those mixtures and compounds of flour and butter or 
lard, and sugar, or molasses, or honey, and eggs, and 
spices, &c. &c. comprehended by the terms "pastry," 
"cakes," "confectionary," &c. are among the most 
pernicious articles of human aliment in civilized life; 
— doing incomparably more mischief than simply pre- 
pared flesh-meat. (§1085.) Yet there are some de- 
viations from the simplicity of bread, which are far 
less objectionable than others. Let it be continually 
kept in mind, as a general rule, however, that, all con- 
centrations of vegetable as well as animal substances, 
(§ 1322.) and all artificial combinations of those concen- 
trated substances, in preparing the food of man, (§ 1323.) 
are always, more or less, at variance with the physio- 
logical laws of constitution and relation, established in 
our nature. (§693. — 767. Hence, though the saccharine 
matter of vegetables is highly nutritive and salutary, 
when received in the state in which nature produces it, 
yet, when concentrated in the form of syrrup, like 
molasses or honey, and still more, in the crystalized 
form of sugar, it is decidedly unfriendly to the physiolo- 
gical interests of our bodies; and especially when used 


alone, or too freely with other substances. All this is 
likewise true of the vegetable acids. (§ 710.) Never- 
theless, molasses and honey and sugar and vegetable 
acid may occasionally be used, to a limited extent, with 
other substances, without greatly infringing the physiolo- 
logical laws and interests of our bodies; provided 
always, that, as a general rule, a proper regard be paid to 
the due proportions of nutritious and innutritious matter 
(§ 1322.) or of bulk and nutriment: — and that butter, or 
lard, or any kind of fat or oil does not enter into the 
composition. For it must ever be remembered as a 
most important consideration, that the mixing of lard or 
butter, or any kind of animal fat or oil, with flour or 
meal, or any other vegetable substance in the making of 
puddings, cakes or pies, or preparing, any other kind of 
food, is a great violation of the physiological laws of the 
digestive organs, (§ 1278. 1279. 1323.) and that the 
articles thus prepared, are more difficult to digest, and 
more irritating to the stomach, than almost any other 
kind of food eaten by civilized man. (§ 1297.) 

§ 1410. The sweet cream of good milk, (§ 1306.) 
though essentially an oleaginous substance, yet, in its 
recent state, or when taken from milk not more than twelve 
hours from the cow, being perfectly soluble in the fluids 
of the mouth and stomach, (§ 1307.) is far less objec- 
tionable than even the best of butter, and incomparably 
more wholesome than any other animal fat; and there- 
fore, if any kind of shortening must be used — that is, 
if human beings are determined they xcill use it, in the 
preparation of pastry and other kinds of food, good sweet 
cream is, in every respect, vastly preferable to any other 
kind. — Puddings, cakes, pies and all other kinds of 
pastry may be made more truly rich and delicately nice, 
with sweet cream and new milk, than by the use of 

472 graham's lectures on the 

butter or any other animal fat or oil; and no one can 
become accustomed to pastry thus prepared, without 
greatly preferring it to that in which lard or butter largely 

§1411. A small quantity of new milk, or cream, or both 
together, may also be used in making toast, with compara- 
tively little objection. — When bread has become stale, 
if it be carefully toasted and then some new milk, heated 
and seasoned with a little salt, be poured upon it, it makes 
a most delicious and wholesome toast, which will sit per- 
fectly well upon the most delicate and feeble stomach. — If 
a little sweet cream is used with the milk, it makes the 
toast richer, but not more wholesome. — In short; if in 
every case, and for all purposes pertaining to the diet of 
man, people would substitute good sweat cream for butter 
and other animal fats or oils, they would be great gainers 
in health and comfort, and even in the amount of their 
gustatory enjoyment; and if they would go still further, 
and abandon the use of cream also, they would, as a 
generation, and as a species, be still greater gainers. 

§ 1412. Rice, wheat, Indian corn, and all the other 
farinaceous grains and substances, may be converted into 
puddings, in a comparatively simple and wholesome man- 
ner. Custards, made of good fresh eggs (§ 130S.) and 
milk and sugar, very slightly cooked, are also compara- 
tively innocent for occasional use. — The custard, squash, 
apple, blackberry and other pies may be made compara- 
tively simple and wholesome by a proper regard to the 
principles which I have already laid down. The pastry 
can be made very nice and very delicious without a parti- 
cle of lard or butter. A little sour butter-milk, or sour 
milk, with at most, a little good cream, skilfully managed, 
will make a much more delicious, as well as more whole- 
some pie-crust than can be made with lard or butter: and 


some make it very good without using even these, by em- 
ploying boiled and finely mashed potatoes for shortening. 

§ 1413. After all, however, it must be remembered 
that all these things are greater or less departures from 
the strict line of physiological truth, (§ 1320. — 1323.) 
rendering our food somewhat less wholesome in itself, 
and increasing our temptation to indulge to excess. 
(§ 1326.) — If we have vigorous constitutions, and are in 
good health, and of active and athletic habits, they may 
never so affect us as to enable us distinctly to perceive 
their evil consequences in ourselves; yet, it is not more 
certain that the continual revolutions of a wheel, gradu- 
ally — though by imperceptible degrees, wear the axle on 
which the wheel revolves, than it is that every deviation 
from the laws of constitution and relation established in 
our nature, impairs, in some degree, our physiological 
powers, and abbreviates the period of our existence; 
(§ 735.) and though the effects may not always be evi- 
dent and unequivocal in the individual, yet they are con- 
spicuous in the race, when regarded in a succession of 
generations. (§ 8S7.) 

§ 1414. What then? — it is asked, shall man live by 
bread alone? — I answer, No! — the vegetable kingdom 
affords us a boundless variety of substances for our food, 
(§ 1315.) and the capabilities of the soil, for the improve- 
ment and augmentation of that variety, are almost unlim- 
ited. Some of these substances may be prepared with 
the greatest simplicity, and a very large proportion of 
them, may be eaten without any artificial preparation. 

§ 1415. Besides the several kinds of grain which I 
have mentioned, — beans, peas, potatoes, beets, carrots, 
parsnips, turnips, pumpkins, squashes, cabbage, &c. are 
among the vegetables common to our climate, and which, 
at most, require no other preparation than simple boil- 

474 graham's lectures on the 

ing, roasting or baking. — Cabbage, radishes, cucumbers, 
lettuce and other salads, which are often complained of 
in civic life, as being too crude and indigestible for the 
human stomach, — are managed with perfect ease and 
comfort and safety, by those who are healthy and vigor- 
ous; and who subsist wholly on vegetable food, properly 
prepared; and abstain from stimulating and heating sub- 
stances. Hence, they who subsist in the ordinary manner 
of civic life, are unfit to give rules, from their own expe- 
rience, for the dietetic habits of others, in different cir- 
cumstances. In fact, no rules which are not founded on, 
or are not compatible with the general and permanent 
physiological principles of human nature, are good for 
any thing, — except, possibly in some instances, as mere 
temporary expediencies for particular emergencies. 

§ 1416. But, besides bread in some form or other, 
(§1338.) fruit is the most natural and appropriate food of 
man: (§ 7S0.) and here the earth is truly bountiful in her 
variety and abundance. Apples, pears, peaches, plums, 
cherries, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, 
whortleberries, gooseberries, watermelons, muskmel- 
ons, &c. &c. are produced in great abundance, and are 
capable of being improved to the highest perfection, and 
in almost infinite varieties; and these may be eaten with, 
or without bread, when perfectly ripe, without any ar- 
tificial preparation or cooking. — And our benevolent 
Creator has so ordered the seasons, and the regular suc- 
cession in which they are produced, that even in our cli- 
mate, we can be supplied with some kind or other, of 
delicious and wholesome fruit, fresh from the bosom of 
nature, almost the whole year round; and the apple can, 
by proper care, be kept in its natural state through the 
winter and spring, till a new year brings us fresh sup- 
plies. And then there is a great variety of nuts which 


are admirably fitted for the winter's use, and which are 
very delicious and perfectly wholesome to the vegetable- 
eater whose general regimen is correct. Moreover, 
the apple, pear, peach, cherry, plum, strawberry, rasp- 
berry and a great number of other fruits may be 
preserved by drying; so as to furnish us with a rich 
variety of delicacies, during the whole winter. The 
good ripe peach and other kinds of fruit, when well dried 
in the autumn, may be stewed in some water with a little 
sugar, and make a delicious dish of sauce to eat with our 
bread in the winter and early spring. Besides this, the 
fruits may be preserved in their own inspissated juices, 
so as to make exceedingly delightful substitutes for fruit 
in its natural and recent state. Thus, if a quantity of 
choice rich sweet apples, be gathered and made clean, 
and ground in a clean mill, and the juice immediately 
pressed out, and filtered through washed sea-sand and 
pulverized charcoal, and then put into a proper vessel 
over a slow fire, and the water evaporated till the juice 
becomes a thick syrup, and if, in the mean time, some 
mildly acid apples be divested of the skin and core and 
put into this syrup, till they are cooked through, — a de- 
lightful sauce will be produced, which will serve instead 
of the ordinary use of butter, with our bread, through the 
whole winter. — Peaches, strawberries, and other fruit 
may also be preserved in this same, simple manner. 

§ 1417. But here again I must repeat, that every species 
of artificial preparation opens the way to evil, principally 
from four grand sources. First, the want of the proper 
exercise of the teeth, (§719.) and consequent insaliva- 
tion and complete trituration of the food before it 
is swallowed. (§ 727.) Second, eating too fast and 
too much: (§426.) third, — improper concentrations 
(§ 1322.) and combinations: (§ 1323.) and fourth, im- 
proper temperature. (§ 1321 .) All four of these sources 

47G graham's lectures on the 

of evil must therefore, be constantly guarded against: — 
and the utmost pains should habitually be taken to culti- 
vate fruit of every variety, to the highest perfection and 
in the greatest abundance, in order that our tables should 
be at all times, furnished as far as possible with that 
which will be delicious and wholesome in its natural 

§ 141 S. But it should always be remembered that, 
fruit of every description, if eaten at all, should be eaten 
as food, and not as mere pastime, or merely for the sake 
of gustatory enjoyment: and therefore, it should, as a 
general rule, be eaten at the table, or constitute a portion 
of the regular meal. — 1 do not mean as the dessert of flesh- 
eaters after they have eaten already enough of other food; 
— but 1 mean as a portion of the regular meal of vegetable- 
eaters, — taken with their bread, instead of flesh and 
butter; for their breakfast and their dinner; but more 
sparingly at their third meal or supper — especially if the 
third meal be taken late in the day. — The truth is that, 
all cooked food, even under the best regulations, impairs 
in some degree, the power of the stomach to digest un- 
cooked substances; and therefore, so long as we are 
accustomed to cooked food of any kind, we must be 
somewhat more careful in regard to the times when we 
eat fruit and other substances, in their natural state. The 
digestive organs always, in health, partake of the general 
vigor and freshness of the body, and always share with it 
also in its weariness and exhaustion. Hence, as a gen- 
eral rule, so long as we are accustomed to cooked food, 
the stomach will always digest fruit and other substances 
in their natural state, better in the early, than in the latter 
part of the day. Moreover, it is a truth of considerable 
importance, that fruit and other substances in the natural 
state, are digested with more ease and comfort, when 


taken alone, at a regular meal time, than when taken with 
any kind of cooked food, except- good bread. While 
therefore, human beings, and especially in civilized life, 
wholly disregard these physiological principles, and eat 
fruit with any thing and every thing else, and at all hours of 
the day and night, they ought not to be surprised, and still 
less should they complain, if they suffer from their erro- 
neous habits. But nothing is more certain than that, if 
human beings will, in a reasonable degree, conform to the 
physiological laws of their nature, they may eat almost 
every variety of esculent fruits which the vegetable king- 
dom produces, with entire safety and comfort. 

§ 1419. Be it understood that, I do not pretend to 
name all the products of the vegetable kingdom proper 
for human aliment. — It is my object to teach general 
principles in regard to life, health and regimen, rather 
than to give particular dietetic prescriptions or formula. 
There are doubtless, many excellent fruits and vegetables 
of our own climate, which I have not spoken of: and 
many, of other climates, which are wholesome and deli- 
cious. As a general rule, however, the fruits of other 
climates which are gathered before they are perfectly 
ripe, are to be avoided as unwholesome and unsafe. — 
With the great physiological principles before him which I 
have presented and shall present in these lectures, every 
intelligent individual can guide himself in the details of prac- 
tical application, and therefore, it is enough for me to 
say in general terms, that, if the dietetic and other habits 
of man, were true to the laws of his nature, he might 
safely partake of most or all of the esculent products of 
the vegetable kingdom; and he might easily cultivate the 
richest, and most bountiful variety of fruits and vegetables, 
of every description, for his enjoyment; and extend his 
gustatory pleasures far beyond any thing that is, or can 

478 graham's lectures on the 

be experienced, by the flesh-eating epicure. (§712.) 
But this will not, — it cannot be done, while flesh con- 
tinues to be so important an article in the diet of human 
beings, in our country. (§ 86S.) 

§ 1420. In conclusion of the whole matter, in relation 
to kinds and qualities of food then, I will summarily re- 
capitulate that, those who ivill eat flesh, should use but a 
small quantity of the healthy, lean fibre, (§ 1281.) once a 
day; — prepared in the manner I have named (§ 12S9.) 
and accompanied with good bread, and one or two kinds 
of vegetables at most, simply prepared, and eaten plain: — 
but while they continue to eat flesh, let them be careful 
how they indulge in fruits and vegetables in their natural 
state. (§ 1309.) — While on the other hand, they who 
subsist wholly on a pure diet of vegetable food and water, 
under a corred. general regimen, — and particularly those 
who are accustomed to such a diet from childhood, may 
partake with safety and enjoyment, of every esculent 
fruit and vegetable that the wide earth produces or can 
be made to produce; — provided, always, that every such 
article is of a healthy growth, and properly matured 
before it is plucked or gathered, and eaten as a portion 
of the regular meal, at proper times, and in proper quan- 
tities. The vegetable-eater, also, by the help of fire, 
can prepare many gredn vegetables, such as peas, beans, 
corn and other products of the garden, which, although 
they are far from being most perfectly adapted to his 
physiological wants and interests, yet, when prepared in 
the best manner,— (§ 1415.) and eaten plain, with good 
bread, and in temperate quantities, are comparatively 
harmless, and give a pleasant variety to our diet. 

§ 1421. Finally, let it ever be remembered as a matter 

of the utmost importance, that, whatever constitutes the 

ood of man, it should always be of the very best quality. 


Serious attention should be given that the wheat and all 
other kinds of grain, and every kind of fruit and vege- 
tables that he employs for food, are of the most perfect 
character, and that they are prepared — so far as artificial 
preparation of any kind is necessary — in the most per- 
fect manner. The bread should be the best that can 
be made — the potatoes and other vegetables should be 
cooked in the best possible manner; (§ 1415.) but in 
great simplicity: — every thing, in short, should be done 
with care, aiming at perfection. It is surprising what 
a difference can be made in these things. — Some women 
will prepare a plain vegetable dinner in such a manner 
that almost any man in the civilized world, would feel it 
a privilege to partake of it; while others will get it up 
in such a way as to render its very appearance disgust- 
ing. Order, neatness, good taste and a sound judgment, 
should be diligently cultivated by all who attempt a prac- 
tical exemplification of the principles inculcated in these 


Physiological principles in regard to times of eating — Different theories 
of hunger — Beaumont's theory — The true physiology of ^hunger — 
Natural regularity and periodicity of vital action — Hunger naturally 
recurs at regular periods, and becomes an established physiological 
habitude — Flesh-meat increases the urgency of hunger — the pure 
stimulants still more — The more stimulating the diet, the more fre- 
quent and importunate will hunger be, and the more will it demand 
stimulation rather than alimentation — The vegetable-eater fasts longer 
than the flesh-eater without distress — Five general inductions in 
regard to hunger as an indication of the alimentary wants of the sys- 
tem — The practical application of these principles — The number of 
meals in a day, and the proper duration of time between meals — If 
three meals are taken in a day, the last should be light and not too 
near the sleeping hour — The importance of great regularity in the 
times of eating — Never eat between meals — Late suppers very mis- 
chievous — Dietetic regularity of children and aged people. 

§ 1422. In regard'to the proper times of eating, phys- 
iology does not teach us precisely, at what hours, nor 
how frequently we shall take our meals: but it does de- 
terminately establish for us, certain general principles, 
or great way-marks, by which we are led to conclusions 
sufficiently exact and determinate for our purpose. 

§ 1423. I have frequently spoken of hunger as a 
special sense, (§247. 599. G05.) and in part, already 
explained its physiology; (§767. 1202.) — but a correct 
understanding of the physiological character and laws of 
this sense, is of so much practical importance that I shall 
now enter into a more full explanation and illustration of 


them. — It would hardly be a profitable employment of 
time, to recite the various opinions which have been en- 
tertained on this subject, during the last twenty-five 
hundred years. — It is enough to say that the theory of 
hunger has always corresponded with that of digestion. 
(§ 431.) After Spallanzani had established the doctrine 
of a solvent gastric fluid, he advanced the idea that hun- 
ger was caused by the action of that fluid, on the inner 
coat of the empty stomach; and this notion was very 
generally received, and has continued in vogue to the 
present time. The recent experiments and observations 
of Dr. Beaumont, of which I have spoken, (§431.) have 
however, fully proved that notion to be incorrect: for he 
has ascertained by the most careful experiments and ob- 
servations, continued for nearly eight years, that no gas- 
tric juice is ever found in an empty stomach, or one which 
contains no food or chyme; but that always, when the food 
is chymified and passes from the stomach, that organ is 
left entirely empty and clean; and contracts upon itself 
and remains in this state till some alimentary or other 
substance is introduced into it, to excite its secretion and 
muscular contraction. Dr. Beaumont has therefore, at- 
tempted another explanation of hunger. — " My impres- 
sion," says he, "is that hunger is produced by a disten- 
tion of the gastric vessels, or that apparatus, whether 
vascular or glandular, which secretes the gastric juice: — 
a distention by the gastric juice of a particular set of 
vessels or glands, which constitute in part, the erectile 
tissue of the villous coat of the stomach. The sensa- 
tion varies according to the different degrees or states of 
distention, from the simplest desire to the most painful 
sense of hunger; and is allayed or increased, in propor- 
tion to the application or refusal of alimentary stimulus 
to the excretory vessels: — the greater the distention of 

VOL. II. 41 

482 graham's lectures on the 

the vessels, the more acute will be the pain; hence the 
difference between a short and a protracted fast. It al- 
most amounts to demonstration," continues the doctor, 
"that a large quantity of gastric juice must be contained 
in appropriate vessels, during a fast, read)'- to obey the 
call of aliment: and the quiescence and relief from the 
unpleasant sensation, which are experienced as soon as 
the vessels are emptied, are, I think, additional proofs 
of my opinion." 

§ 1424. But this theory of Dr. Beaumont's is quite 
as untenable as that of Spallanzani's. If hunger be a sen- 
sation produced by the distention of the vessels contain- 
ing the gastric juice, how is it that, that sensation which 
occurs from physiological habitude at regular periods, ac- 
cording to the individual's customary hour of eating, will 
subside and totally disappear, if that time is permitted to 
pass by without any food's being received? — unless, in- 
deed, the wants of the system for nourishment, are real 
and pressing: — and even then, the same thing will take 
place to some extent. — Will it be said that there is a re- 
absorption of the gastric juice and a consequent abate- 
ment of hunger? — This is wholly an assumption; of the 
truth of which, there is no proof; — while many things go 
to prove the contrary. — But again, if simple distention 
of the gastric vessels cause the sensation of hunger, how 
is morbid appetite to be accounted for? — We know that, 
in certain states of the stomach, resulting from improper 
dietetic habits, hunger is much more craving and distress- 
ing than in a healthier condition of the stomach: and in 
such a state of things also, hunger is no true indication 
of the alimentary wants of the system; (§767) for it 
often supervenes with painful energy when fasting would 
actually be much better for the system than feeding. We 
know too, that, the same individual feels hunger much 


more powerfully when he is in the habit of eating flesh 
freely, and still more if he uses stimulating condiments, 
than when he subsists entirely on vegetable food, and 
abstains from all such condiments. Can these facts be 
satisfactorily accounted for on the principle of simple 
mechanical distention? Certainly not. — But there are 
other facts in point, not more easily got over. — Here are 
several individuals assembled around a table loaded with 
sumptuous fare, — their hunger is powerful, — they con- 
template the repast with eager desire, — their appetite is 
exceedingly keen, — the savory viands are smoking on 
their plates, — and now they are just about to commence 
their meal. At this moment, several letters are thrown 
upon the table; — one reads that a steamboat has burst 
her boilers, and that his beloved wife or child, whom he 
was hourly expecting home, is scalded to death: — his 
hunger is entirely gone in an instant. — Another reads an 
insulting communication, which throws him into a violent 
fit of anger and his appetite is all gone. Another reads 
that a dreadful pestilence has broken out and is commit- 
ting awful ravages in the neighborhood : — a paroxysm of 
fear at once destroys his hunger. — Another reads that 
his ship which he believed to have been captured by pi- 
rates, has just entered the harbor with a rich freight: — a 
transport of joy annihilates his hunger. — Another takes a 
pinch of snuff and his hunger is gone. — Another puts a 
piece of tobacco in his mouth and his hunger is destroy- 
ed. — Another rubs his gums smartly with a little salt and 
his hunger is subdued. — Another dissolves some tartar 
emetic, — stirs it up, and contemplates swallowing it, and 
his hunger disappears. — Now these are not merely fanci- 
ful suppositions: — they are real cases which have hap- 
pened thousands of times. But how are such cases ex- 
plained by Dr. Beaumont's theory of distention? — Is the 

484 Graham's lectures on the 

gastric juice re-absorbed in an instant: — or does it instan- 
taneously gush from its distended vessels into the stom- 
ach? — Neither! — It is not possible either for re-absorp- 
tion or disemboguement to take place so instantaneously ! 
— What then becomes of the sense of distention, in the 
vessels containing the gastric juice, which constitutes the 
feeling of hunger according to Dr. Beaumont's theory? 
— It is evident that the theory is wholly at fault. Indeed, 
the assumed facts on which this theory is founded, are all 
merely things of the imagination. There is no such thing 
in reality as "the large quantity of gastric juice," which 
Dr. B. is so confident of, "contained in appropriate 
vessels, during a fast, ready to obey the call of aliment." 
Not a particle of gastric juice is formed until the stom- 
ach is excited to physiological action by the ingestion of 
food, and then it is poured into the gastric cavity as fast 
as it is secreted. — The function of gastric digestion is 
purely physiological, and every step and peculiarity of 
the process is the result of vital power and action. (§504.) 
§ 1425. We have seen that, the stomach is a primary 
organ of external relation, (§698.) constructed to receive 
the external substances designed for the nourishment of 
the body: — that it does not perform its function for itself 
alone, (§ 697.) but receives and digests, food for the whole 
assemblage of organs, constituting the single system; and 
therefore it holds an important relation to the whole or- 
ganic domain, (§ 298.) and is accordingly, connected in 
its anatomical structure and physiological endowments, 
most intimately and powerfully, with the common centre 
of organic life: (§231.) and, depending on the voluntary 
powers for the supplies of that aliment which it receives 
and digests for the nourishment of the whole system, it 
is also powerfully connected in anatomical structure and 
sympathetic relation with the centre of animal perception 


and action. (§245.) Hence, therefore, when the phys- 
iological economy of the system requires a supply of food, 
it indicates its want in the organ designed to receive that 
food, and this indication is perceived by the centre which 
presides over the voluntary functions. (§ 2S0.) 

§ 1426. In the perfect health and integrity of the sys- 
tem, when a supply of nourishment is required, the vital 
economy brings the stomach into a particular physiologi- 
cal condition, preparatory to the reception and digestion 
of that nourishment. This condition consists in a con- 
centration of vital energy in the tissues of the organ: 
(§313.) the nerves of organic life distributed to the 
stomach, (§231.) receive an increase of vital stimulus: 
the vessels become somewhat more injected with blood, 
(§ 393.) exalting the vital properties of all the other tis- 
sues, and preparatory to the secretion of the gastric juice: 
the temperature of the stomach is slightly elevated, 
(§ 434.) and the whole organ becomes more red, and 
has something of an excited appearance. The whole may 
therefore, be called a state of vital exaltation; andinthjs 
state, the stomach is specially prepared for the perform- 
ance of its functions: — in this state it possesses its great- 
est functional power; and can digest any alimentary sub- 
stance with the greatest ease, and most perfectly. 

§ 1427. But all this might take place without the con^ 
sciousness of the animal, (§ 228.) and therefore, without 
serving in any measure to excite the voluntary powers to 
furnish the requisite supply of food, were it not for the 
particular connexion established between the stomach and 
the centre of animal perception, (§ 280.) by means of 
the pneumogastric nerve. (§245.) This nerve, being 
one of the internal feelers of the animal centre, (§ 600.) 
is so associated with the nerves of organic life in the stom- 
ach, that it sympathizes with them, or feels their condi- 

486 graham's lectures on the 

tion, and communicates this feeling to the centre of ani- 
mal perception, and this perception of the physiological 
state of the stomach, by the animal centre, is the special 
sense of hunger, (§ 599.) which is a demand of the or- 
ganic domain on the voluntary powers for a proper supply 
of food, and naturally excites those powers to satisfy its 
wants. (§ 605.) In the perfect health and integrity of 
the system therefore, the special sense of hunger informs 
us with utmost accuracy, both when food is wanted, and 
when the stomach is in the best state to receive and di- 
gest it. 

§ 1428. Every thing in creation is subject to law, 
(§ 144.) and every thing in nature that has motion or 
action, naturally observes the strictest regularity. From 
the revolutions of planetary systems, down to the 
physiological actions of the simplest vegetable, every 
thing, when undisturbed, and left to obey its own consti- 
tutional laws, is strictly regular, and exactly periodical in 
the recurrence of its phenomena: and in living bodies, 
every disturbance of this regularity and periodicity, is in 
some measure, a violation of their laws and an injury to 
their constitution. — This is emphatically true of the human 
system. If the physiological actions of our bodies were 
left to obey their own constitutional laws, without the least 
disturbance from our voluntary actions or any other cause, 
every vital phenomenon of the system would recur at 
regular periods, with the exactness of a most perfect 
chronometer; and although the human constitution pos- 
sesses a wonderful power of sustaining the disturbances of 
irregularity, without immediate destruction, so that, many 
human beings, by virtue of great natural vigor, attain to 
fifty, seventy, and in some extremely rare instances, 
even to a hundred years, in spite of many, and sometimes 
great irregularities, yet nothing is more true than that, the 


greatest possible longevity, and the highest possible well- 
being of the human system, can only be secured by the 
most perfect physiological regularity and periodicity; and 
therefore, every interruption or disturbance of the phys- 
iological regularity of our systems, by our voluntary 
irregularities or other causes, is always, and inevitably, 
in some measure, injurious to the constitution, — impairs 
health and shortens life. Indeed, such is the importance 
of physiological regularity to the welfare of the body, that 
when it is properly observed, it will enable the system to 
endure other evils with astonishing power, and often for 
a wonderful length of time. Thus, let an individual whose 
voluntary habits are systematic, and which conform, in a 
good measure, to the natural regularity and periodicity of 
the physiological actions of his system, accustom himself 
to the use of tobacco, opium, alcohol, arsenic or any 
other poison, and always take the same quantity at regu- 
lar periods, and it is surprising how soon the system will 
accommodate itself to the pernicious substance, (§738.) 
and how perfectly the habit will insert itself into the phys- 
iological economy and become, as it were, a harmonizing 
element of action, with which the system will work on, 
with little apparent inconvenience — though, always and 
inevitably, with more or less detriment, for forty, sixty, 
or eighty years. But let another individual of general 
irregularity of habits, accustom himself to the use of the 
same poison, — taking it at irregular times and in irregular 
quantities; and though he do not consume more in a year 
than the man of regular habits, yet his system will be 
incomparably more disturbed by it, and if he perseveres 
in the use of it, much more certainly will it bring on dis- 
ease, and in a much greater measure abbreviate life than 
in the other case. 

§ 1429. The physiological reason for this difference is 
easily given. — We have seen that the discriminating sensi- 

488 Graham's lectures on the 

bilities of the nerves of organic life, are soon destroyed 
by the use of improper substances, (§ 738.) so that, the 
organs acted on by such substances become, as it were, 
isolated in their sympathies, in a measure corresponding 
with the quantity and energy of the deleterious substance 
habitually used, and have no longer the power to give 
alarm to the general centre of action, (§228.) and rally the 
vital forces in powerful resistance to the offending cause, 
and consequently, the system suffers comparatively Utile 
from sympathetic disturbances. (§ 958 et seq.) We have 
seen also that, there is in the system a conservative and 
renovating economy which is continually busy in repair- 
ing the injuries which result from our voluntary improprie- 
ties and other causes. (§ 314) In the first case then, the 
general regularity of the individual gives greater physi- 
ological power to his whole system; — the regularity, as to 
time, with which he takes his poison, enables the system 
always to be prepared to receive and dispose of it, with 
the least possible disturbance and injury; — the regular 
quantity which he lakes, is always adapted to the state of 
accommodation in the system, so that little sympathetic 
disturbance is produced beyond the part immediately 
acted on, (§960.) and the whole regularity, enables the 
conservative and renovating economy of the system to 
keep pace with the depredation; so that, though the con- 
stitution always and inevitably wears out the sooner for 
the poison, yet it perhaps never actually breaks down 
with disease in consequence of it. In the second case, 
the contrary of all this is true. — The general irregulari- 
ties of the individual, impair all the physiological powers of 
the system: — his irregularity as to time and quantity in the 
use of his poison, generally takes the system, as it were, 
by surprise, — continually produces extensive disturbances 
in the physiological actions, — often exceeds the conser- 


vative and renovating economy of the organic domain, 
and consequently brings on disease and breaks down the 
constitution, perhaps long before it is worn out. — All die- 
tetic and other irregularities by which the physiological 
regularity and periodicity are disturbed, are therefore, al- 
ways and necessaily more or less injurious to the human 
constitution, and serve in some measure to impair health 
and abbreviate life. 

§ 1430. Some individuals, as we have seen, (§ J 428.) 
by virtue of an iron constitution, will attain to advanced 
life with many improper habits; but if there be one rule 
in which remarkable cases of longevity agree more 
invariably than in any other, it is in that general regularity 
of voluntary habits and circumstances, which in a good 
measure, conforms to the physiological regularity and 
periodicity natural to all living bodies: and it is owing 
mainly, if not wholly, to the greater regularity of the 
voluntary habits and circumstances, that health becomes 
more uniform and better established in many people, in 
the latter part of life, than during the middle period. — 
Many who claim to be wise in this matter, tell us it is 
better to be somewhat irregular than to be too precise 
and punctilious in our habits. — It is undoubtedly true, 
that a continual mental anxiety in regard to the regulation 
of our habits, often does more harm than any consequent 
regularity of habits does good. Nevertheless, it is beyond 
all controversy true that, when our regularity is the result 
of correct and systematic education or training, and is a 
thoroughly established habit, the more perfect it is, the 
better it will be for all the plrysiological interests of our 
nature. Nay more; — it may be laid down as a general 
law that those individuals whose alimentary habits are, 
in point of regularity, most in conformity with the phy- 
siological regularity of their bodies, will not only with 

490 graham's lectures on the 

greatest certainty secure health and longevity, but w ill 
also, with greatest certainty secure prosperity in their 
vocations and pursuits of life. 

§ 1431. In the perfect health and integrity of the sys- 
tem, if the voluntary habits are in strict accordance with 
the physiological laws of the body, hunger will recur 
with the utmost regularity and integrity, as an indication 
of the alimentary wants of the vital economy; and this 
recurrence will constitute a physiological habitude of the 
system, harmonizing perfectly with all the other opera- 
tions of the organic domain. But when the voluntary 
habits are very irregular, and the general periodicity of the 
vital actions of the system is disturbed, the regularity of the 
recurrence of the physiological condition of the stomach, 
the perception of which, by the animal centre, constitutes 
the sense of hunger, will be commensurately afTected. In 
savage life, when the dietetic and other habits of the 
individual are simple and pure, and where the individual 
has no regular meal-times or stated times of eating, bu 
procures his food and eats only when prompted by 
hunger, and greatly varies in his quantity, there will be 
no regular recurrence of that sensation, at particular 
periods, but it will take place only when the vital eco- 
nomy really requires that a fresh supply of food should 
be introduced into the gastric cavity, and the frequency 
of its recurrence, in such a case, will always correspond 
with the quantity and quality of the food received at a 
meal, and the amount of active exercise which the indi- 
vidual takes. But in civilized life, which is evidently 
the more natural state of man, (§ 774.) the very structure 
and economy of society as well as the interests and con- 
venience of the individual, make it necessary that all the 
voluntary habits of man should be more regular and 
systematic, and therefore — if not unnecessarily artificial, 


— more in conformity with the natural regularity and 
periodicity of the physiological actions of his body, 
(§ 1428.) which are not only greatly influenced by, but 
also, in turn very greatly influence these voluntary habits. 
Indeed, the physiological periodicity and habitudes of 
the human body, are infinitely more concerned in making 
man " the creature of habit," as he is called, than he has 
probably ever been aware of. 

§ 1432. If therefore, an individual in civic life, with 
a perfectly healthy and undepraved system, regularly 
eats, at stated periods, his three meals a day, of pure, 
simple, vegetable food; and uniformly takes about the 
same amount of exercise, and, at each meal, eats just 
about that quantity of food which the alimentary wants 
of the vital economy really demand, the physiological 
condition of the stomach, indicated by the sense of 
hunger, will become a fixed habitude, and hunger will 
recur at his regular periods of eating with utmost exact- 
ness and precision. But if at any time, he takes con- 
siderably more nourishment into the stomach than the 
real alimentary wants of the vital economy require, or 
omits his customary exercise or labor, hunger will not 
recur precisely at his next stated period of eating, and 
if he eats at that time, he will oppress and irritate the 
stomach, and trespass on the general physiological interests 
of his body; and by habitually continuing such trans- 
gressions, he will inevitably so affect the condition of 
his stomach as to bring on a preternatural appetite, which 
will eagerly receive food as often as his meal-time comes, 
and perhaps even more frequently, whether his system 
really requires alimentation or not; and which will never be 
satisfied with such a quantity of food, as the vital eco- 
nomy of his system can dispose of without embarrass- 
ment and oppression. Such an appetite therefore, is 

492 graham's lectures on the 

something very different from that natural and healthy 
hunger, which is a physiological manifestation of the 
real alimentary wants of the body: and it is of the 
utmost importance that this distinction should ever be 
kept in view, when we are reasoning on the dietetic 
habits of man: — for such an appetite is no safer guide 
for us in regard to eating — as to time, quantity or quality 
— than the drunkard's thirst is in regard to drinking. 

§ 1433. But again; — if a member of civic life, with a 
healthy and undepraved system, suffers flesh-meat to 
enter freely into his diet, all that I have just said of the 
vegetable-eater, will be true of him under the same cir- 
cumstances, except that, all the effects and manifestations 
will be more energetic and distinct. (§ 919.) While he 
observes a proper regimen as to times of eating, quantity 
of food, and amount of active exercise, hunger will 
always recur at stated periods, but it will be considerably 
more powerful and importunate and impatient and much 
more tormenting if the customary supply of food is with- 
held at the regular periods of eating: (§921.) — and if 
he transgresses in the manner which I have described in 
the case of the vegetable-eater, (§ 1432.) the morbid 
appetite which he will produce, will be more tyrannous, 
vehement and voracious: and much more likely to excite 
all the more exclusively selfish propensities and passions. 
(§ 1223.) In either of these cases, if the individual adds 
stimulating and heating condiments to his food, (§ 1212.) 
he will necessarily increase the despotic energy and 
urgency of his appetite, which will always recur as soon as 
the increased exhaustion of his system demands a renewed 
stimulation, whether there be a need of alimentation or 
not. And if his stimulants are of a narcotic or poisonous 
character, the morbid craving will be still more distressing, 
violent and imperious. In such cases therefore, where 


the individual is regular in his times of eating, hunger 
will not only recur with energy, as often as his stated 
times of eating recur, but it will habitually come on 
before the stated time of eating arrives, and be very 
impatient and perhaps tormenting until it is either satis- 
fied or exhausted. For, in all cases, when hunger, at a 
particular time, is more the effect of physiological habi- 
tude, (§ 1432.) than the manifestation of the real and 
pressing need of the system for alimentation, if that 
time be permitted to pass by without the individual's 
taking any food, the hunger will subside: and this will 
also take place, for a single time, when the system is in a 
state to receive food with advantage: — and especially 
when the diet is simple and unstimulating. 

§ 1434. This is a beautiful illustration of the system- 
atic regularity of the physiological operations of our 
organic economy. — The stomach is regularly brought into 
a physiological condition, preparatory for the performance 
of its function; (§ 1426.) and whether that function is 
performed or not, that peculiar condition, in due time, 
passes away, and the vital energy which was accumulated 
in the gastric centre, is distributed to other parts to sus- 
tain other organs in the performance of their functions. 
This peculiar condition of the stomach will pass away 
much sooner and with much less uncomfortableness of 
feeling, in the pure vegetable-eater of regular habits, 
when the ordinary meal is omitted, than in the flesh-eater: 
— and he who makes a free use of stimulating condiments 
with his food, experiences still more inconvenience and 
distress at the loss of a meal, than he who eats flesh 
simply and plainly prepared. Hence the pure vegetable- 
eater loses a meal with great indifference — fasts twenty- 
four hours with little inconvenience, or diminution of 
strength, — and goes without food several days in succes- 

vol. ii. 42 

494 graham's lectures on the 

sion, without suffering any thing like intolerable distress 
from hunger. — The flesh-eater always suffers much more 
from fasting, (§ 921.) and experiences a more rapid de- 
cline of his muscular power;* and he who seasons his 
food highly with stimulating condiments, feels the loss of 
a single meal severely; — a fast of twenty-four hours 
almost unmans him, — and three or four days' abstinence 
from food completely prostrates him, if he is cut off from 
all stimulants as well as aliment. 

§ 1435. From the explanation before us, then, we 
perceive — 1st, that the sense of hunger is produced by a 
vital stimulation of the nerves of the stomach, which is 
attended with an increase of blood in the vessels of that 
organ, — an elevation of its temperature, and a considera- 
ble concentration of vital energy in the gastric centre, 
preparatory to the performance of the function of diges- 
tion: (§142G.) and hence, a violent fit of anger, grief, fear, 
joy or any other passion, or intense excitement of the 
mind; (§ 1424.) or a free use of tobacco, opium, coffee, 
tea or any other narcotic substance, or alcholic liquors, 
or any other means by which the vital stimulation or ex- 
altation of the stomach, is suddenly counteracted, will 
instantly destroy hunger, and subdue all desire for food. 
By these same means also, hunger may be completely 
prevented. — Thus, an individual may be kept under 
such a state of mental excitement, that his meal-time will 
arrive and he will sit down at his table without feeling any 
hunger or appetite for his food. — A free use of alcholic 
and narcotic and other stimulants, will have the same ef- 
fect: — and for this reason, the Mahomedans and Jews and 
other oriental religionists, generally make a free use of 

* It has been asserted by some writers on physiology, that carnivorous 
animals will fast longer without serious inconvenience than herbivorous 
animals, but this is erroneous: the contrary is true. 


opium, tobacco, coffee, &c. during their long fasts. — In 
certain states of the system however, when an individual 
comes to his table, without any sense of hunger or desire 
for food, a glass of wine, if he is accustomed to it, or a 
little brandy and water, will serve to excite an appetite; 
while a more powerful stimulation of the same kind, will 
be sure to produce the contrary effect; and in all cases, 
the use of such means impairs the physiological integrity 
of hunger and the functional power of the stomach. — For 
reasons now assigned, intense mental excitement, violent 
anger, grief, fear, joy, &c, — violent muscular exercise, 
and all other causes which serve to prevent or destroy hun- 
ger, also serve to retard or prevent digestion. (§ 454.) 
§ 1436. We perceive — 2d, that, that concentration of 
vital energy in the stomach, of which we have cognizance 
in the sense of hunger, brings the stomach into the best 
state for the reception and digestion of food; (§1426.) and 
if aliment be then received, the organ will perform its 
function with more ease and perfectness than at any other 
er time; — but if food be entirely withheld, and the cus- 
tomary hour of eating be suffered to pass by without ali- 
mentation, this vital stimulation will subside, — the sense 
of hunger will die away, and the vital energy accumulated 
in the gastric centre, will be diffused over the system, or 
directed to some other particular organ or organs, to sus- 
tain it or them in the discharge of functional duty : — and 
hence, after our customary meal-time has passed by an hour 
or two, without our taking any food, and hunger has wholly 
subsided, if we then sit down and eat a hearty meal, the 
stomach will be embarrassed and oppressed and irritated; 
and, if our digestive powers are not very strong, and our 
system generally in vigorous health, a general sympathetic 
irritation of the nervous system will be produced, (§ 297.) 

496 graham's lectures on the 

resulting in a disturbed action of the vascular system, 
(§ 312.) and more or less disturbance of all the physio- 
logical functions of the body, attended perhaps, with a 
burning sensation in the eyes and face, and in the palms of 
the hands and soles of the feet, — a heaviness and dull pain 
of the head, — general languor and lassitude, and com- 
monly, very considerable thirst; and followed by a foul- 
ness of the tongue, fetidness of the breath and a disa- 
greeable taste of the mouth. 

§ 1437. We perceive — 3d, that when the body is in 
a perfectly normal, healthy and undepraved state, and the 
dietetic and other voluntary habits in strict accordance 
with the physiological laws of the system, hunger is a true, 
instinctive indication of the alimentary wants of the vital 
economy; but habitual over-eating, and over-distention of 
the stomach, causes oppression and irritation and debility 
of that organ, — impairs the integrity of the sense of hun- 
ger as an indication of the alimentary wants of the system, 
and creates a preternatural appetite, which is never satis- 
fied with such a quantity of food as the vital economy can 
easily and healthfully dispose of, but is continually exces- 
sive and tormenting in its demands, and if not habitually 
restrained, impels to that constant gluttony which inevi- 
tably brings on disease, that is attended with great 
distress of body and mind, and often with excruciating 
pains; aud generally cuts off life at an early period. 

§ 1438. We perceive — 4th, that precisely in propor- 
tion as the stimulating quality of our food, exceeds what 
is necessary. to the most perfect chymification of its nutri- 
ent properties, (§1433.) the energy and importunity of 
hunger is increased: — and precisely in proportion as the 
organic sensibilities (§ 301.) and sympathies of the stom- 
ach and other organs associated with it in the general 
function of nutrition, are depraved by the use of stimula* 


ting and narcotic substances in our diet, the integrity of 
hunger as an indication of the alimentary wants of the 
system, is impaired, and the sense becomes a physiologi- 
cal affection, which recurs with more or less regularity, 
according to the voluntary habits of the individual; and 
often with a highly morbid and tormenting energy, and 
without any true regard to the real state of the system as 
to its need of nourishment, but almost entirely with regard 
to the demand of the gastric centre for accustomed stim- 
ulation; and hence, a morbid appetite or craving for food, 
is often felt, when the system not only does not need it, but 
would actually be injured by afresh or new supply of food 
to the gastric cavity. — It may therefore, be laid down as a 
general law, that the more stimulating and heating the diet 
is, the more powerful and urgent will be the sense of 
hunger; and the more distressing and painful also, when 
food is withheld. Hence, as we have seen, (§1433.) hun- 
ger is more keen and urgent, in the same individual, when 
he is accustomed to eat flesh freely, than it is when he 
subsists wholly on pure vegetable food; — and still more 
so, when with his flesh-meat he freely uses stimulating 
condiments, or seasonings. It may also, be laid down as 
a general law, that in proportion as the stimulating prop- 
erties of our customary diet, prevail over its nutrient prop- 
erties, the energy and urgency of hunger will be an indi- 
cation of the demand of the stomach and of the general 
domain of organic life, for accustomed stimulation, rather 
than of the real alimentary wants of the system. — Hence, 
the use of pure stimulants, (§ 743.) with our food, renders 
the sense of hunger more powerful and vehement and 
distressing, (§1433.) and commensurately impairs its in- 
tegrity as an indication of the alimentary wants of the vital 
economy; and degenerates it into a demand for stimula- 
tion. All dietetic error therefore, by which the nerves 

498 graham's lectures on the 

of organic life are irritated, and their vital properties im- 
paired, and morbid irritability and sympathy induced, 
always increases the unhealthy energy and despotism of 
the sense of hunger, and proportionately impairs its integ- 
rity as an indication of the alimentary wants of the vital 
economy, and renders it a totally blind and exceedingly 
dangerous guide in regard to times of eating and quantity 
of food. 

§ 1439. We perceive — 5th, that, in the perfect health 
and integrity of the system, if the voluntary habits are 
in conformity with the natural regularity and periodicity 
of the physiological actions of the organic domain, that 
peculiar condition of the stomach which is indicated by 
the sense of hunger, and which specially prepares it for 
the reception and digestion of food, will recur at our 
stated meal-times with great exactness and regularity, 
and this regular recurrence at particular times, will soon 
become an established physiological habitude, and thus the 
ingestion of our food, or the reception of our meals, will 
always take place precisely when our digestive organs 
are prepared to perform their functions in the easiest and 
best manner. But as it is a law of the vital economy, 
always to endeavor to accommodate itself to circumstances, 
(§864.) and still adhere as far as possible to its natural 
regularity and periodicity, so, if one who is accustomed 
to take his dinner at twelve o'clock, is induced to change 
his hour for a single occasion, and dine at eleven o'clock 
— the next day at eleven, the vital economy will bring 
the stomach into something of that physiological condi- 
tion which is indicated by hunger, and if the individual 
continues to eat at this hour, and his other habits corre- 
spond, the physiological condition of his stomach will 
soon fully and regularly recur at this hour, and become a 
regular habitude. — But if the individual dine one day at 



twelve o'clock, the next at eleven, the next at one, the 
next at two, the next at twelve, &c, he will soon entirely 
break up the physiological habitude of his stomach; and 
com.iel that organ to perform its function to great disad- 
vantage, and under great embarrassments, and however 
powerful his constitution and vigorous his health may be 
at the commencement of his irregularity, if he continues 
in such a course, he will inevitably and soon break down 
his digestive powers, and induce the most serious and 
distressing disorders. — It is true that the savage eats at 
greatly irregular periods, and probably without often 
being troubled with dyspepsy in consequence. But the 
cases are very different: — the civilized man who is irreg- 
ular in his meal-times, eats at one time or another, accord- 
ing to particular circumstances or engagements, and 
generally, with little or no regard either to the real alimen- 
tary wants of his system or the condition of his stomach, 
and consequently, he is even more likely to take his food 
at a time when his system does not require it, and his 
stomach is not prepared to receive it, than otherwise; 
but the savage, as a general rule, eats only when he is 
really hungry, and when his stomach is keen for the 
performance of its function: — besides, the savage, with 
all his irregularity, seldom brings his meals too near to- 
gether, which is the most common fault of civilized life. 
It must also be remembered that there are numerous other 
causes co-operating to impair the digestive powers of man 
in civic life, which the savage is free from. Yet after all, 
the savage suffers exceedingly from his dietetic irregular- 
ities. Indeed, this is one of those features of savage 
life, which are most at variance with the physiological 
laws of the human constitution, and render the savage 
state unnatural to man, ( §774.) and greatly abbreviate 
the duration of life. For nothing is more true than that 

500 graham's lectures on the 

the highest welfare of the human constitution, requires 
the utmost regularity and periodicity in all the physiologi- 
cal actions of the system: and therefore, man is constitu- 
tionally adapted to that state in which all his habits are 
regular and systematic: and in which his food is, as a 
general rule, taken at stated periods: — for the more per- 
fectly regular and correct the voluntary habits of man 
are, the more regular and uniform will his physiological 
habitudes be, and, if I may so speak, the less friction and 
jarring will there be in the vital operations of his organic 
economy. (§ 1428.) 

§ 1440. The important positions, therefore, which 
physiology determinately establishes in relation to the 
question before us, and by which our reasonings and 
conclusions must be governed, are these; viz. 1st, the 
sense of hunger is a true instinctive indication of the ali- 
mentary wants of the vital economy, and is a safe guide 
in regard to times of eating and quantity of food, only 
while the system is in a perfectly healthy and undepraved 
state: but all deviations from a strictly natural diet, and 
all habitual excesses in quantity, necessarily, to a greater 
or less extent, impair the integrity of the sense, and ren- 
der it a treacherous and a dangerous guide, — and such 
deviations and excesses are nearly universal in the human 
species, and especially in civilized life, and therefore, as 
a general rule, little dependence is to be placed on the 
sense of hunger, as an indication of the alimentary wants 
of the system; and particularly in relation to quantity. — 
2d. Our meals should not be taken so irregularly as great- 
ly to disturb the natural periodicity of the physiological 
actions of the organic economy, and .prevent the regular 
recurrence of that condition of the stomach which is in- 
dicated by hunger, and which specially prepares the 
organ for the performance of its function. (§ 1426.) — 


3d, Our meals should not be so seldom or so far apart, as 
to require an over-distention of the stomach, when we 
do eat, in order to receive food enough to answer the 
alimentary wants of the system. — 4th. Our meals should 
not be so frequent, or so near together, as that the food 
received into the gastric cavity at one time, is not fully 
digested before another portion is taken. 

§1441. With these well ascertained positions to gov- 
ern our reasoning, we can arrive at particular conclusions 
in regard to times of eating, with all the accuracy and 
certainty that the physiological welfare of the human 
body requires. — Some portions of the human family eat 
but once in twenty-four hours: and where the habits and 
circumstances are in all other respects simple and fa- 
vorable to health, and the food is nourishing and unstim- 
ulating, the digestive organs will readily adapt themselves, 
in capacity and power, to such a habit, (§338.) so that, 
man in a simple state of society, where there is little reg- 
ular and systematic employment of the voluntary powers, 
and where the intellectual faculties are little cultivated or 
exercised, will enjoy more uniform health and attain to 
greater age, than he would in a more cultivated and arti- 
ficial state of society, if he took his meals too frequently. 
—But in civilized life, where the constitution and rela- 
tions of society demand of every member, some regular 
employment of his voluntary powers, and a considerable 
cultivation and exercise of his intellectual and moral fac- 
ulties, one meal a day would require too large an appro- 
priation of the physiological powers of the body, to the 
gastric function during the process of digestion, and too 
protracted an interruption of voluntary employment and 
intellectual exercise, to be compatible with the individu- 
al and social interests of man :— and if by continued vol- 
untary employment and intellectual exercise the appro- 

502 graham's lectures on the 

priations of vital energy to the stomach, should be dimin- 
ished, the functional power of that organ would soon be 
broken down. It is fully evident therefore, that the 
regular habit of taking but one meal in twenty-four hours, 
is not best adapted to the physiological and psychologi- 
cal interests of man. Hence, it may be considered as a 
general rule, inductively established on physiological 
principles, that man cannot take less than two regular 
meals a day, consistently with the highest permanent phys- 
iological and psychological welfare of the human consti- 

§1442. We have seen (§439.) that, some kinds of 
food pass through the stomach much more slowly than 
other kinds, and that, the stomach of one individual 
differs from that of another, in regard to the time 
employed in the process of gastric digestion, and even 
the same stomach varies in this respect, very considerably, 
with the varying circumstances and conditions of the 
individual. — We have seen also, (§920.) that, in the 
true physiological sense of the terms, the ease or difficulty 
with which a particular kind of food is digested, is in no 
measure determined by the time in which that kind of 
food is passing through the process of the stomach: — 
for, although some kinds of food pass through the stomach 
much more rapidly than others (§921.) yet the chymi- 
fication of them actually causes a greater expenditure of 
vital power and waste of organized substance, than the 
digestion of other kinds of food which are much longer 
in undergoing the same process. — Again, we have seen 
(§320.) that the grand function of the alimentary cavity, 
as a whole, is the converting of the food into that 
partially assimilated substance called chyme, and present- 
ing the chyme to those organs (§ 388.) which elaborate 
the chyle from it, and conveying the faecal matter from the 


body: and that the chymifying process is continued 
through the whole length of the small intestine, (§456.) 
and perhaps to some extent in the large; and therefore, 
that the most perfect performance of the functions of the 
small intestine, including both chymification and chylifica- 
tion, requires that the stomach should not be actively 
employed at the same time with a fresh supply of food: — 
or in other words, the physiological welfare of the 
system, requires that the entire alimentary cavity should 
complete its chymifying process on one portion of food, 
before another meal is received. Moreover, the stomach 
requires a time to rest and to recruit its energies after it 
has completed its function, which should be of greater 
or less duration, according to the degree of exhaustion 
which it has suffered from the performance of its function. 
Mild, unstimulating, vegetable food passes through the 
stomach slowly and leaves the organ comparatively little 
exhausted from the performance of its function; (§ 1025.) 
while flesh-meat, as we have seen, (§ 920.) passes through 
more rapidly, and leaves the organ much more exhausted, 
and consequently, the stomach really requires a longer 
time to rest after the digestion of flesh-meat, than after 
the digestion of farinaceous food. Yet as flesh-meat 
works the whole vital machinery more rapidly, (§919.) 
and is much more stimulating in proportion to the quantity 
of nourishment which it actually affords the system, 
hunger returns at shorter periods and more vehemently 
(§921.) in the flesh-eater than in the vegetable-eater, 
and the flesh-eater can habitually take his meals more 
frequently than the vegetable-eater, without serious 
inconvenience to his digestive organs in particular; but 
the general increased action of his vital economy, will 
wear out his constitution in a shorter time. (§925.) 
So that, all things considered, whether man subsists on 

504 graham's lectures on the 

one kind of food or another, the permanent physiological 
welfare of his system requires that, about the same 
length of time should come between his regular meals. 

§ 1443. Where farinaceous vegetable food however, 
constitutes a considerable proportion of the diet, and 
man is not stinted in the quantity of his aliment, the 
digestive organs must have their proper time for the 
performance of their function, or serious disturbances and 
disorders will soon result. And, as a general rule, when 
an ordinary meal is taken, the stomach cannot perform 
its function in the best manner for itself and the whole 
system, and have sufficient time to rest, and also allow 
the small intestine a proper opportunity to carry forward 
its assimilating processes, without disturbance, in less than 
six hours. I speak with all the authority of indubitable 
truth therefore, when I say that man cannot habitually 
take his meals more frequently than once in six hours, 
without serious detriment to his constitution, — without 
necessarily shortening his life, — without inevitably afflict- 
ing himself with disease of some form or other, sooner 
or later. It is true that civilized man habitually violates 
this rule: and it is true that he experiences the bitter 

§ 1444. I know that many naturally vigorous constitu- 
tions will bear up under this oppression, in some cases, 
for many years, in the enjoyment of what the world calls 
health: but however powerful the constitution and how- 
ever long it endures such oppressions without actually 
breaking down, the existence of nature is not more cer- 
tain than that the habitual taking of food more frequently 
than once in six hours, is injurious to health and destruc- 
tive to life. — Be it remembered however, that this is 
stated as a general rule, in regard to man in ordinary 
health, and who is not stinted in his alimentary supplies, 


or who takes as much food as his system requires at 
each meal. — It is also equally certain, as we shall see 
hereafter, (§ 1450.) that we cannot habitually take food 
at a very late hour in the day, without encroaching upon 
our proper sleeping hours, and thereby inevitably impairing 
the soundness of cur sleep and preventing its refreshing 
and invigorating effect. — Hence, it may be considered as 
a general rule, inductively established on physiological 
principles, that man cannot habitually take more than 
three meals a day, consistently with the highest, perma- 
nent, physiological and psychological interest of the 
human constitution. 

§ 1445. Many portions of the human family have, 
from the earliest times, been accustomed to take but two 
regular meals a day: and this was the habit of some of 
the wisest philosophers of antiquity. Indeed, Socrates 
used to teach his disciples that they who ate more than 
twice a day, were barbarians. — It was the prevailing 
custom of the most civilized nations in the days of 
Greece and Rome, to take a light and simple meal in 
the fore part of the day, and to make the principal meal 
or supper, near the close of the afternoon, after the cares 
and duties of the day were completed; and from supper 
till the hour of sleep, the time was devoted to relaxation, 
social enjoyment and amusements. 

§ 1446. This regulation is far more conducive to 
health and longevity than our modern custom of crowd- 
ing every thing together, and compelling the digestive 
organs, the voluntary muscles, and the brain, all to per- 
form their functions at the sama time, and thus embarrass 
and worry each, and prematurely break down the whole. 
It is incomparably better to eat but two meals a day, than 
either to eat more frequently than once in six hours, or 
to hurry from ths active employments of mind and 

vol. II. 43 

506 graham's lectures on the 

body, to our meals; and from our meals back to our 
active employments; — and this is particularly true of 
those members of civic life, whose employments are 
attended with much exercise and excitement of the 
mind. (•§ 303. 520.) 

§ 1447. Merchants and all others, whose labors are 
more mental than physical, and draw more largely on the 
energies of the nervous, than the muscular system, 
would be immensely the gainers in every respect, if they 
would, as a general regulation, close up the business of 
the day, punctually at three o'clock in the afternoon, — 
lay all their cares aside, and suffer the vital energies 
which have been accumulated in the brain, to be diffused 
throughout the system, or concentrated in the gastric 
centre, and thus, by a conformity of their voluntary 
habits to the physiological laws of their bodies, (§ 1428.) 
suffer their stomachs to prepare themselves for the per- 
formance of their function, (§ 1426.) and sit down to 
their principal meal at four o'clock; and eat slowly and 
with cheerfulness; and devote the remainder of the 
evening to relaxation, — to social enjoyment, — to reading, 
and to the light avocations pertaining to domestic and 
social life; and at eight o'clock in the morning, breakfast 
on plain, simple and nourishing, but unstiinulating food. 

§ 1448. To those who are accustomed to take their 
three regular meals, and their lunch at eleven o'clock, 
such a regulation as I now propose, undoubtedly appears 
intolerable: and it certainly would be intolerable to them, 
if they continued the same diet that they are now accus- 
tomed to. But let them lay aside all their stimulating 
meats and drinks and condiments, and accustom them- 
selves to subsist mostly or entirely on a plain, nourishing 
diet of farinaceous substances and fruits, and in a few 
months, if their habits are in other respects correct, 


they will, with utmost certainty, find that they can go 
from their eight o'clock breakfast to their four o'clock 
supper with infinitely less " sinking" and u gnaioing" 
of the stomach and teasing of the appetite, than they 
now experience, and that they can perform the duties of 
the day, however laborious, with vastly less fatigue and 
exhaustion of body and mind, than they suffer at present. 
Besides, with such a regulation properly carried out, they 
would not only enjoy themselves much better while ac- 
quiring their wealth, and with much greater certainty suc- 
ceed in their pursuits of life, but — what is of no small 
consideration in this age of wealthy dyspeptics and hypo- 
chondriacs — they would with much greater certainty, be 
able to enjoy their wealth after they had acquired it. 

§ 1449. Agriculturists, mechanics, and others, whose 
employments draw more largely on the muscular, than on 
the sensorial powers of the body, have generally more 
vigorous digestive organs, and do not by their employ- 
ments, detract from the energies of the stomach, so much 
as the class of men I have just spoken of. Besides, as 
a general rule, their active, muscular exercise is more 
conducive to the decomposing (§314.) and eliminating 
functions of the body; (§509.) and therefore, they can 
take more food, and suffer their meals to come somewhat 
nearer together, without injury. But the hardest labor- 
ing farmer or mechanic ought not, as a general habit, to 
eat more frequently than once in six hours; and then he 
will be far more likely to take too much than too little 
nourishment. — In this country, as a general fact, laboring 
people impair their muscular powers and break themselves 
down more frequently, by eating too often and too much 
than by any other means. (§ 805.) 

§ 1450. If due regard be paid to the physiological 
principles which should govern our sleeping hours, 

508 graham's lectures on the 

(§ 1444.) we ought certainly, as a general habit, not to 
take a meal later in the day than six o'clock P. M. : — 
and taking this for an established point, if we make three 
meals a day, it will fix our regular periods at six o'clock 
A. M., twelve M., and six P. M., and these are undoubt- 
edly the very best periods that can be fixed on if we lake 
three meals a day. If we would regularly rise at four 
o'clock in the morning, breakfast at six, dine at twelve, 
and sup at six, and always be moderate in our quantity, 
and never suffer the mental anxieties and nervous excite- 
ments of our business or vocation to trouble ourmeal-times,- 
nor interfere with our digestive powers, it would probably 
be best for us — and especially if our habits arc active — to 
take three regular meals a day; — or in other words, it 
would probably be better for us to take a sufficient quan- 
tity of food to sustain our bodies, at three meals, six hours 
apart, than to take the same quantity at two meals eight 
hours apart. 

§ 1451. Rut if we cannot make our three meals a day, 
without eating oftener than once in six hours, and without 
encroaching too much upon our proper time of sleeping, 
and without being obliged to hurry from the excitements of 
business to our dinner, and from our dinner to the excite- 
ments of business, it is incomparably better to limit our- 
selves to two meals a day. — I speak with great earnest- 
ness on this subject, because it is of immense importance 
to the welfare of mankind! — The evils which result — the 
sufferings which are produced by eating too frequently — 
by bringing our meal-times too near together, are actually 
incalculable! — I am confident that this is one of the great- 
est sources of affliction to civilized man. By the habitu- 
al ingestion of one portion of food into the stomach, be- 
fore the previous portion is fully disposed of, the digestive 
organs are embarrassed, their functions are disturbed, the 


whole system is worried and debilitated, all the assim- 
ilating processes of the body are deteriorated, indigestion, 
with all its train of distressing symptoms, is induced, and 
diseases of every type and character are caused. — Nor 
should we, for the sake of securing our three meals a day, 
and keeping them at a proper distance from each other, 
be induced to suffer our third meal habitually to come 
nearer to our sleeping hour than six o'clock. Some 
writers on hygiene have indeed, insisted with much force, 
that we ought not to eat later in the day than five o'clock: 
and were this to be the principal meal, as in early times, 
(§ 1445.) the position would undoubtedly be correct. 

§ 1452. But where three meals are taken in a day, the 
third one should always be very light and simple, and 
the food should be mild and unexciting, and in this case, 
six o'clock would be sufficiently early to allow the diges- 
tive organs time to advance so far in the performance of 
their function, before the regular hour of retirement ar - 
rived, as not to impair the perfect soundness and refresh- 
ing effect of sleep. 

§ 1453. I know that, thousands of people in civic life, 
are in the habit of eating hearty suppers just before they 
retire to rest; — and I know too that by virtue of power- 
ful constitutions, and perhaps, much active, out-door 
exercise, there is, occasionally, an individual among such 
people, who enjoys a tolerable share of health, and 
attains to seventy or eighty years of age: — but I also 
know that, ninety-nine in a hundred of those who in- 
dulge in this practice, are broken down, and afflicted 
with chronic disease before they reach fifty years: and a 
large majority of them are in their graves before they are 
forty years old. — I am aware also, of the objection raised 
by some, that the lower animals usually fill their stom^ 
achs and then lie down to rest: — there is a vast difference 

510 graham's lectures on the 

however, between lying down to rest, in the manner of 
the lower animals, and going to sleep as man does. 
Few animals sleep immediately after lying down. The 
ruminating animals, we know, remain hours in a wakeful 
state, after lying down: and although carnivorous animals 
are much more stupified by what may almost be called 
the narcotic effects of their food, yet there is reason to 
believe that they rarely, if ever, sleep soundly during the 
first stages of gastric digestion. Moreover, it should be 
remembered that no strict analogy can be instituted be- 
tween the lower animals in a state of of nature, and man 
in civic life: — for, as we have seen, (§ 1262.) nearly all 
the circumstances and habits of civic life serve to im- 
pair the physiological powers of the human body, and 
particularly to debilitate its digestive organs and to pro- 
duce and keep up an unhealthy irritability in the nerves 
of organic life (§228.) and a preternatural sympathy be- 
tween the digestive organs and the brain. 

§ 1454. If man were in a truly natural and healthy 
state, and always subsisted temperately, on a mild, unirri- 
tating and unexciting diet, and preserved the nerves of 
organic life in a perfectly healthy condition, and never 
over-excited and over-worked the brain, he might un- 
doubtedly, like the young infant, go to sleep on a full 
stomach, with comparatively little physiological disad- 
vantage to his system. But in civic life, where a high 
degree of sympathetic irritability universally exists be- 
tween the brain and stomach, the case is very different, 
and renders it impossible for man to habituate himself to 
such a practice, without seriously embarrassing the func- 
tions of the vital economy and increasing greatly, his lia- 
bility to disease and untimely death. 

§ 1455. On the whole then, it appears very evident 
that if we take three meals a day, — six o'clock in the 


morning, twelve at noon, and six in the evening are the 
very best periods we can fix on for our meal-times:— 
and if we regularly rise at four, and never later than five 
o'clock in the morning, and avoid having the toil and 
cares and anxieties and excitements of our business or 
vocation, encroach too nearly on the dinner hour, it is 
probably, as a general rule, better to take three moderate 
meals a day — and especially if our habits are active — 
than to take the same quantity at two meals. But if we 
cannot take three meals a day without bringing them 
nearer together than six hours, — or if we cannot take 
three meals a day without being obliged to hurry from 
the bodily and mental toil and excitements of business to 
our dinner, and eat with great rapidity, and hurry back 
to the bodily and mental toil and excitements of business, 
we had infinitely better take but two meals a day, under 
the regulations which I have named. (§1447.) — At all 
events, if we are wise, we will, as a general habit, keep 
our meal-times at least six hours apart. — This is so im- 
portant a regulation, it can hardly be too much insisted 

§ 1456. But whether we take two or three meals a 
day, or whatever hours we fix on as our stated times of 
eating, it is of great importance to our welfare as indi- 
viduals and as members of society, that we should regu- 
larly and punctually take our food at those hours; and, 
as a generale rule, with as little variation as possible; 
for by so doing, if our habits' are in other respects cor- 
rect, we shall soon establish such a healthy physiologi- 
cal habitude of the digestive organs as will always secure 
to us a good appetite for our food, and that condition of 
our stomach in which it is best prepared for the per- 
formance of its function. (§ 14261) 

§ 1457. If by any means however, we are, on some 

512 Graham's lectures on the 

occasions, obliged to pass by our regular meal-time, 
without taking any food, till our hunger has subsided and 
the attendant physiological condition of the stomach has 
passed away, it is, as a general rule, far better to defer 
eating till the next regular meal-time arrives, and our 
hunger again recurs. But in such a case, it is important 
to remember that we ought not, at our next meal, to make 
up for the one which we have lost, by eating a quantity 
sufficient for two meals, at once. — Nothing, perhaps, is 
more common, when an individual in health has, by any 
means, been detained from his dinner, than for him to 
sit down to the supper, or as it is commonly called, the 
fea-table, and eat his dinner and supper both at once; 
and then, in due time, he retires to rest; and rises in 
the morning, and wonders why he has had such a poor 
night's rest, and why he feels so little refreshed from 
sleep, and why he feels so languid, and why his eyes 
are red, and his tongue coated, and his breath foul; and 
why his mouth tastes bad, and why his head aches. 
Such an individual, and every body else, should know 
that, all these unpleasant symptoms result from the 
oppression and irritation of the system caused by the 
improper quantity of food taken at supper. 

§ 1458. Every body should understand and remember 
that the digestive organs partake, in a considerable meas- 
ure, of the general fatigue and weariness of the body, 
and have less functional vigor in the latter part of the 
day, than in the earlier part of it: and therefore, when 
the dinner has been lost, the supper had better be lighter 
than usual, rather than heartier; and then the night's rest 
will be sweet and refreshing, and in the morning, the 
body will be vigorous and elastic, and the spirits cheer- 
ful. — And, as a general rule, in all cases when a meal 
is lost, the next meal should not be more full, but on the 


contrary rather lighter; and then, the occasional loss of a 
meal will, perhaps in every instance, prove beneficial, or 
at least not injurious. 

§ 1459. In these remarks however, I only contemplate 
those members of civic life, who have abundance of 
food, and who habitually eat full as much as the alimen- 
tary wants of the vital economy demand; those who 
from poverty, or other causes, are compelled to be 
extremely abstemious, and never exceed, and rarely 
satisfy their alimentary wants, cannot be benefited by 
losing a meal. Yet even in such extreme cases, the 
loss of one meal would be ill repaired by the reception 
of such a quantity of food at the next meal-time, as 
would oppress and embarrass and irritate the stomach, 
and through it, the whole system. When the regular 
recurrence of hunger distinctly indicates that physio- 
logical condition of the stomach, which is a manifes- 
tation of the alimentary wants of the system, and which 
prepares the organ to receive and digest the proper 
supply of food, it is probably always true, except in a 
decidedly morbid condition of the stomach, that the loss 
of a customary meal results in more or less of indirect 
debility of the digestive organs; and hence, when hunger 
again recurs at the next succeeding meal-time, the 
stomach requires a lighter, rather than a heavier task than 


§ 1460. When the regular meal is made and finished, 
then the stomach should always be left to perform its 
function without any disturbance or embarrassment. — In 
strict propriety, not another mouthful of food, of any 
kind, should be swallowed, till this is done. — Many 
people are in the habit of eating but little at the regular 
meal-times, and of taking a few mouthfuls every hour or 
two between meals; — and I believe that such people 

514 graham's lectures on the 

almost invariably complain of ill health, and most of 
them are dyspeptic: — and well they may be, for there 
are few practices which serve more directly and power- 
fully to irritate and vex, and break down the stomach, 
than that of disturbing and interrupting its function by 
constantly introducing small quantities of food into it, 
at all hours of the day, and with the utmost irregularity. 
By such means they inevitably disturb and finally break 
up the regular physiological habitude of the stomach; 
(§ 1431.) and, by taking food when that organ is not in 
a proper condition to receive it, they harass and irritate, 
not only the stomach itself, but also, to a greater or less 
extent, every other organ in the system. (§ 521.) 

§ 1461. Men of vigorous health and good digestive 
powers, may indulge in this injurious practice for a while, 
without being conscious of any evil effects, but they 
greatly deceive themselves if they think to indulge in 
this irregularity with impunity. For, powerful indeed, 
are the digestive organs of that individual, who can long 
continue in such a practice, without finding himself seri- 
ously afflicted with dyspepsy or some other form of chronic 
disease. Hence, it is often found, as Dr. Paris justly 
observes, that, distressing cases of dyspepsy may be 
entirely cured by no other remedial means, than a regu- 
lar and strict observance of stated periods of eating. — 
Nor let it be supposed that I draw my rules from the 
experience of dyspeptics, and that therefore, my reason- 
ings on this point, are only applicable to dyspeptics and 
other invalids: — all my reasonings are founded on general 
physiological principles established in human nature, and 
therefore, they are applicable to all mankind, — except in 
so far as I avowedly accommodate them to man in civic 
life: — and even in this, I am always guided by physio- 
logical principles: — and consequently, though every one in 


the same general predicament, may not have the evidence 
of precisely the same symptoms in his own experience, 

~ to corroborate my statements, still my principles and 
reasonings are none the less true in relation to all. 

§ 1462. If by reason of having taken too much food 
at the previous meal-time, or in consequence of neglect- 
ing the customary exercise, or from any other cause, a 
regular meal-time arrives without the recurrence of hun- 
ger, and without any evidence of that physiological con- 
dition of the stomach which indicates the alimentary 
wants of the system, (§ 1426.) and especially, if there be 
reasons to believe that the stomach has not entirely dis- 
posed of the previously ingested food, — it is best, by all 
means, in such a state of things, to abstain from eating, 
and take no more food till the next regular meal-time 
arrives: — for by taking food in such a case we shall only 
irritate and debilitate the stomach, and worry the whole 
system; — and by persevering in such a course, we shall 
soon be visited with acidity and other symptoms of in- 
digestion. — If, by any means, they who live on a sim- 
ple diet, experience acidity and other symptoms which 
indicate functional embarrassments and derangements of 
the stomach, and which are most frequently caused by 

' eating too often, too fast and too much, the most certain 
as well as the safest remedy is to lose a meal, or perhaps, 
fast a day, and then return to the regular meals, more 
guardedly, — making them considerably lighter at first: — 
for it should ever be remembered as a most important 
physiological law, that a fast should never be broken by 
a very full meal; but the first one, two or three meals 
after a fast— and always in proportion to the duration 
and severity of the fast — should be lighter than usual. 

516 graham's lectures on the 

Dietetic Regularity of Children. 

§ 1463. In the management of children, it is of the 
highest importance that strict regularity and punctuality 
should be observed in regard to their times of eating. 
Because the springs of life are so elastic in them, and 
they seem to recover so promptly from the little ailments 
with which they are occasionally afflicted, parents gener- 
ally, have no conception of the evils which result to the 
constitutions of their offspring, from those habitual trans- 
gressions of the physiological laws of their systems, in 
very early life, which are attended with no immediate 
and strongly marked manifestations of suffering or disease. 
But there is a deep delusion on this subject, pervading 
the whole human family. In all cases perhaps, when 
mankind observe an effect, they look for an immediate 
cause; and generally fix on something whose proximity 
to the effect, is such as to satisfy them of the immediate 
relation of the one to the other: — and here they gener- 
ally leave the matter, without any farther investigation. 
This same mode of reasoning is universally applied to 
those physiological and pathological phenomena or symp- 
toms, which mankind take cognizance of. — If a person 
experiences any ailment, he immediately looks around 
him for some fact, event, or circumstance, which he may 
fix upon as the cause of his indisposition: — and accord- 
ingly, while he experiences no ailment, he confidently 
concludes that no cause of indisposition exists in the 
circumstances or habits or events of his life: — and hence, 
in pursuance of this same mode of reasoning, while chil- 
dren are able to eat and drink, without any regulation as 
to the quality or quantity of their food or their times of 
receiving it, and do not manifest those immediate and 
unequivocal symptoms of disease, which compel their 


parents to see the relation between them and their dietetic 
habits, the parents will not be convinced that any thing 
in their dietetic habits is wrong. 

§ 1464. But, if the truth were universally and clearly 
understood, that except in cases of direct violence, 
almost every instance of disease and suffering in the 
human family, is gradually and slowly brought on, not by 
the action of any one cause for a single time, but either 
by the constant and continued action of some one cause, 
or by the combined action of many causes, for a consider- 
able time, and probably in most cases, for a great number 
of years, before those symptoms are perceived, which are 
generally regarded as the first evidences of a disease, or 
at least, a disordered state of the system, then parents and 
others would know that, many causes in the dietetic and 
other habits of children, may be operating to impair and 
to destroy their constitutions, while they are able to 
perceive no symptoms of disease in their little bodies: 
and then also, would people know that, those distressing 
symptoms which they suffer in later periods of life, are 
far less the effects of those immediate causes to which 
they attribute them, than of those causes which have 
been operating, perhaps from the very hour of their birth. 

§ 1465. Every thing in the state of the human system, 
in early childhood, renders it peculiarly liable to be in- 
jured in such a manner as permanently to affect the con- 
stitution, by every cause that disturbs the functions of, or 
produces irritations in the growing body: — and parents 
can therefore, hardly be too careful in the regulation of 
the dietetic habits of their offspring; — nor too precise and 
punctual in their times of eating. 

§ 1466. The error which prevails on this point, is so 
universal and so inveterate, it is necessary that I should 
speak of it in strong terms of disapprobation. In most 
,vol. ii. 44 

518 graham's lectures on the 

families in our country, children, from their birth till they 
go from under maternal care and misguided fondness, are 
permitted to take food into their stomachs, at any and 
every hour of the day, just as a wayward fancy or 
nervous restlessness, or capricious appetite shall dictate. 
But this is all wrong, — decidedly and cruelly wrong. — 
Every particle of aliment taken into their stomachs, must 
be digested, as well as that received into the stomachs of 
adults; and their tender and delicately susceptible organs 
even more than those of adults, require their proper time 
for the undisturbed performance of their functions and their 
propertime forrepose: (§1442.) and to perform their func- 
tions healthfully, and vigorously, and with least exhaustion 
to themselves, those little organs require that, every physi- 
ological advantage which nature has provided for them, or 
can supply them, should be possessed: — and we have seen 
how beautifully and benevolently God has ordained that 
peculiar physiological condition of the stomach, of which 
we have cognizance in the special sense of hunger, and 
which indicates the alimentary wants of the vital economy 
and prepares the stomach to receive and digest the prop- 
er supply of food. (§ 1426. 1427.) 

§ 1467. Now then, if in the fully developed and vigor- 
ous body of an adult, it is of great importance, that strict 
regard should always be had to this physiological condi- 
tion of the stomach, in the reception of our food and 
times of eating, of how much more importance is it, that 
these things should be attended to in the management of 
children, whose delicate systems are easily disturbed, and 
every disturbance of which, modifies in some degree the 
very elements of their constitution, and the development 
of their bodies? — Depend upon it, it is not easy to over- 
state the importance of the strictest and most punctual 
regularity in the times of children's receiving their food. 

§ 1468. From the first hour of life, this matter is of 


the highest importance, in rearing and educating our chil- 
dren. If they be nursed or fed, whenever they are rest- 
less, or whenever an ignorant nurse or mother takes a 
notion that they require it; or be supplied with food as 
often as they choose to ask for it, and be permitted to 
be swallowing something that requires digestion, at all 
hours of the day, without the least regard to order or reg- 
ularity, as to times of eating, or the condition of the 
stomach, how can their digestive organs perform their 
functions without continual disturbance and irritation? and 
how can their stomachs become established in that, regu- 
lar physiological habitude, (§ 1431.) which is so essential 
to the most vigorous and perfect performance of their 
function; and permanent interests of the vital economy? 
And if such oppressions and irritations of their tender 
and susceptible organs, be continually kept up, can it be 
surprising that they should be restless and fretful, and 
frequently indisposed? or that they should often be afflict- 
ed with those distressing and violent complaints which in 
so many instances, and so suddenly, send them to the 
grave, in the very budding of their existence? 

§ 1469. They who have never tried the experiment 
of strictly regulating their children in their times of eat- 
ing, can have no just conception of the salutary and hap- 
py effects of such a regulation. I repeat that, it should 
commence from the very first hour of life, and continue so 
long as our children are under our care: and we ought to 
endeavor to establish their habits so firmly in childhood, 
that they will not afterwards depart from them. 

§ 1470. In the earliest stage of infancy, children un- 
doubtedly require nourishment more frequently than full- 
grown people. Yet it is in no degree less important, that 
they should be nourished at regular and stated times. 
How often a young infant needs to be nourished, is a ques- 

520 graham's lectures on the 

tion about which there is some difference of opinion 
among writers. But there is no reason to believe that 
their little stomachs will dispose of a suitable portion of 
their appropriate food, in a much shorter time than is 
required for the stomach of an older child to digest the 
same kind of aliment: — and hence, I am confident that I 
am perfectly safe in saying that, as a general rule, once 
in three hours, is as often as an infant should be nourish- 
ed. And mothers and nurses, that are truly wise and 
humane, will fix the hours of nursing, with great precis- 
ion, and observe them with great punctuality; and they 
will be sure to receive their reward, in the quietness and 
health and cheerfulness of their children. — But to nurse 
them every half hour or every hour, till their little stom- 
achs become oppressed and irritated, and they throw up 
their food, which is often in a state of acidity, and worry 
and cry, from the irritation and distress thus caused, and 
then to nurse them again to stop their crying, is cruel 
beyond measure; for it not only distresses them for the 
present, but it is blending with the very elements of the 
constitution the principles of disease for after-life. 

§ 1471 . When children are old enough to receive sol- 
id food, they should either eat four regular meals a day 
at stated periods, from four to five hours apart, or, like 
adults, eat three regular meals a day at stated periods, 
six hours apart; and with the same regularity and precis- 
ion, be permitted to take a little plain, simple food, or 
good, ripe fruit of a proper kind, just mid-way between 
their regular meals. This practice may be continued 
till they are four or five years old, if they take consid- 
erable active exercise in the open air, and if their 
regular meals be light. But if their habits are inactive 
and sedentary and studious, more caution must be used 
both in regard to quantity and frequency of eating. Still 


however, the grand point which I now wish to make 
most prominent is that, whether they eat at a greater or 
less number of times, they should, as a general rule, on- 
ly eat at those stated and precise times, and never be 
allowed to take a morsel of food at any other time. — If 
this rule were strictly observed, and the meal-times of 
children properly regulated, as to frequency, according 
to their age, activity, vigor, &c, it would save child- 
hood, as well as after-life, from an immense amount of 
evil and suffering. 

§ 1472. Every one who hast he care of children, ought 
to know that, if they be permitted to eat very frequently 
and with great irregularity they will very soon be habitu- 
ally tormented with a craving appetite, which, like the 
drunkard's thirst, is the more importunate and distressing 
the more it is indulged. Children of such habits are al- 
ways far more unhappy and fretful and ill-tempered and 
unmanageable and liable to disease, than they would be 
if their dietetic habits were properly regulated. Some 
few of them, with good natural coustitutions, by virtue of 
much active exercise in the open air, survive the perils 
of such a childhood, and perhaps never realize the bitter 
consequences of their early transgressions, till they have 
attained to adult age, and possibly, not till they have 
reached the middle period of life; but a large majority of 
them, are cut ofF«by disease in some form or other, be- 
fore they are ten years old. It is therefore, not kind- 
ness, but abiding cruelty in parents, to beget and pamper 
such an unhealthy and mischievous appetite, which, like 
the consumption, seldom fails to destroy its victim, and 
which children of well-regulated habits never know. 

Dietetic Regularity oj Aged People. 

§ 1473. Systematic regularity and punctuality in re- 


522 graham's lectures on the 

gard to times of eating are hardly less important for aged 
people than for children. As old age advances, there is, 
even in the best ordered life, a gradual abatement of the 
physiological powers of the system; (§688.) the diges- 
tive organs, with equal pace, diminish in functional vigor; 
and there* is a correspondent diminution in the alimentary 
wants of the vital economy; and all the vital processes 
of the system take place with slowly decreasing energy 
and rapidity. The necessary consequence is that, as 
man becomes old, his system is less able to endure sud- 
den and violent changes of any kind; and less able to 
maintain a general regularity of physiological functions, 
when there is considerable irregularity of voluntary hab- 
its. The stomach whose functional energies are impair- 
ed by age, requires all the advantages which the best 
condition and circumstances of the system to which it 
belongs, can afford it, in order to perform its function in 
such a manner as will best sustain the interests of that 
system: — and hence, it may almost be asserted as a gen- 
eral law, that great regularity of the voluntary habits, is 
essential to the continuance of life in old age: — and 
amongst the voluntary habits, there are few of more im- 
portance to the physiological interests of the body, and 
the comfort of the individual, in old age, than systematic 
regularity and punctuality in times of eating. Indeed, as 
I have said, (§ 1430.) there is reason to believe that a 
principal cause why health is generally, so much less 
fluctuating, after certain periods of life than before, is 
that the physiological habitudes of the body, are so much 
less disturbed by the irregularities of the voluntary habits; 
and especially those connected with alimentation. 

§ 1474. They who love their parents then, and who 
count it one of the richest blessings of this life, to have 
those beloved parents long continue with them in the en- 


joyment of health, the objects of their gratiutde and affec- 
tionate duty, should study to do all in their power, to» 
secure the utmost regularity to their voluntary, and espe- 
cially their dietetic habits. 


Quantity of food necessary to sustain the human body — Excessive ali- 
mentation may be sustained in high health at the imminent hazard 
of life, during the whole growth of the body — An uncommonly pow- 
erful constitution may maintain health in excessive alimentation for 
seventy or eighty years without actually breaking down with disease, 
but it always shortens life, predisposes to disease, and almost inva- 
riably produces it, even in the soundest bodies, and inevitably, 
where there is a natural predisposition to it — Particular effects of 
excessive alimentation — Excessive alimentation the greatest source 
of evil to man — Gluttonous propensity and practice of man — Difficul- 
ty of controlling it — Difficulty of laying downgeneral rules as to quan- 
tity — The only safe general rule that can be given — Appetite a blind 
guide — Quantity of food for children, and for aged people — General 
conclusions in regard to food — Drink, why required and what kind, 
and how best supplied — Thirst, how far a true indication of the want 
of the vital economy — Morbid thirst, how produced, and what it indi- 
cates — Excessive drinking of water or any other liquid, the effects — 
Effects of impure water — Mineral waters, &c. — How to secure good 
water — Pure stimulants — salt, pepper, mustard, &c, tea, coffee, alco- 
holic liquors, tobacco, opium, &c. — Their effects on the system and 
the general delusion concerning them. 

Quantity of Food. 

§ 1475. In regard to the quantity of food which the 
human body requires, there appears to be far more truih 
in the speculative opinions than correctness in the prac- 

524 Graham's lectures on the 

tices of the civilized portions of the human race. It is a 
common saying that it is comparatively unimportant 
what a man eats or drinks, so that, he is strictly temperate 
in his quantity: and the principal objection to this proverb 
is that it is almost universally made to justify an indis- 
criminate indulgence of appetite rather than to prevent or 
discountenance excesses in quantity. 

§1476. We have seen (§314.) that the matter of 
which our bodies are composed, does not remain perma- 
nently in its organic arrangement during our corporeal 
existence, but, by the two great vital processes of com- 
position and decomposition, particle by particle of new 
matter, is continually added to the several structures and 
substances of the body; and particle by particle of old 
matter, is continually abstracted from the several struc- 
tures and substances, and ultimately eliminated from the 
vital domain. (§516.) — It is to sustain this great process 
of composition, or general function of nutrition, that food 
is required by the vital economy, and is constantly 
introduced into the alimentary cavity, and by the vital 
processes of assimilation, converted into chyme, chyle, 
blood, &c; and it is to sustain the great processes of 
decomposition and elimination, that certain voluntary and 
involuntary actions are constantly required. 

§ 1477. By the varying circumstances and habits of 
individuals, the relative activity and vigor of the two great 
processes of composition and decomposition are corre- 
spondingly affected, to a certain extent; so that, the 
general bulk of the adult individual, may be several 
pounds more or less, at different times, consistently with 
the general integrity of function in the system. And as 
it is a physiological law of living bodies, that each part is 
nourished and sustained according to its duties and its 
healthy action, (§376. 393.) so particular members or 


parts of the system, may be considerably more developed 
at one time, than at another; (§ 1019.) — but as a general 
law of the vital economy, the two great processes must 
necessarily balance each other, within certain limits, or 
integrity of function is destroyed, health impaired, and 
life abbreviated. (§ 509.) 

§ 1478. During the healthy growth of the body, the 
great process of composition or general function of 
nutrition is necessarily semewhat in excess of the processes 
of decomposition: yet even at this time, the relative 
activity of the two great processes, is strictly determined 
by the physiological integrity of the system, according to 
6xed and precise constitutional laws; so that, no consid- 
erable permanent deviation can take place, without 
injuring the constitution, impairing health and abbreviating 
life. The process of composition may be too rapid or 
too languid for the welfare of the constitution. When 
the constitution is vigorous however, excessive nutrition 
may take place through the whole period of growth, 
without any distressing symptoms of such excess; and 
the individual may be regarded as the personification of 
health, while at the same time, the whole course of his 
life, runs fearfully close to the line of active and violent 
disease, (§649.) and he is, with the certainty of neces- 
sity, abridging the period of his earthly existence, and 
generating the elements of disease, which will sooner or 
later manifest themselves, with more or less of violence 
and pain, according to his subsequent habits of life. 

§ 1479. After the body has attained to its full size, or 
ceased to grow, there must be a general equilibrium, or 
balance of action between the great processes of compo- 
sition and decomposition — of incorporation and elimina- 
tion — of ingestion and evacuation, or all the physiologi- 
cal interests of the system must suffer, — health must be 

526 graham's lectures on the 

jeoparded and life shortened. — The bulk and weight of 
the body, as I have said, (§ 1477.) may vary, with varying 
circumstances, to a very limited extent, consistently with 
the general integrity of function in the vital economy: 
but no considerable variation of this kind, can take place, 
while the proper balance of action is maintained in the 
system: and therefore, whenever the general bulk or 
weight of the body is either considerably increased or 
diminished from the perfectly normal standard, it is an 
infallible evidence of unbalanced and unhealthy action in 
the system, and cannot long be continued without serious 
detriment to the constitution and hazard of life. 

§ 1480. In a healthy body, the general processes of 
decomposition and elimination, take place more or less 
rapidly and freely, according as the individual is more or 
less active and athletic in his habits; and as a general law, 
the assimilating organs correspond in functional vigor and 
activity: and hence, as we have seen, (§ 1449.) the robust, 
active laborer requires more food than the sedentary man, 
and can receive and digest more with ease and comfort. 
But in all cases, if more food is taken into the alimentary 
cavity, than is just sufficient to answer the real alimentary 
wants of the vital economy and balance the easy and 
healthy action of the decomposing and eliminating organs, 
injury is inevitably done to the system. 

§ 1481. In a vigorous body, where all the organs are 
well balanced, and no one of them is predisposed to any 
particular disease, the vital economy as a whole, applies 
its power according to the general or particular demands 
of the system, and this aggregate power of the vital econo- 
my, always corresponds with the average power of the sev- 
eral organs composing the system. (§ 1 105.) If therefore, 
in such a state of the system, more nourishment is received 
into the vital domain than is really demanded by the ali- 


mentary wants of the vital economy, the decomposing 
and eliminating organs will be excited to proportionably 
increased action, so as to preserve the general balance 
between the two great processes of composition and de- 
composition: — and if the constitution is uncommonly vig- 
orous, and the several organs well developed, and wholly 
free from particular predispositions to disease, and the 
general habits of the individual are active and invigora- 
ting, and mainly favorable to physiological power and 
health, excessive alimentation may habitually take place 
for forty, sixty or eighty years, and perhaps even longer, 
and the general balance between the two great processes 
be so perfectly preserved, by the correspondent over- 
working of the decomposing and eliminating organs, that 
no consequent morbid results will ever be experienced,